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Former NY Governor Says Marine Should Not Face Charges in Subway Chokehold Death

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Former New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, came out in support of Daniel Penny, the hero marine who protected others from a violent, longtime criminal on the New York subway earlier this month, which Townhall covered.


To recap, Penny, 24, put Jordan Neely in a chokehold on the subway to protect others after he threatened passengers with violence. Neely lost consciousness and passed away. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed charges against Penny shortly after. On Friday, Penny turned himself at the 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, as Rebecca noted.

In an interview on Sunday, former governor Paterson said that Penny did not commit a crime and should not have been charged with manslaughter (via the New York Post):

Paterson theorized that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg didn’t want to let Penny, 24, loose because of a history of minorities getting killed under controversial circumstances — but said the defendant is not at fault for what the ex-gov deemed an unfortunate tragedy.

“[Penny] did something because he saw danger for other people and tried to prevent it,” the Democrat, New York’s first African-American governor, said Sunday during a chat with John Catsimatidis on the “Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM.

“He did not meet the threshold where you charge someone.”

Paterson pointed out Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man, had a long history of mental illness and, while calling his death a “tragedy,” said that it shouldn’t be seen as “an execution.”


Following Neely’s death, left-wing activists “ignited” in New York City, which Sarah covered. Protesters threatened to “tear the city down” and to “abolish the police” in the crime-ridden city. Townhall has covered how crimes, on the subway, specifically, has skyrocketed in recent years.

Juan Alberto Vázquez, one of the witnesses to Neely’s death, who filmed the incident, said in an interview with Curbed that Neely got on the train and “started yelling that he didn’t have food, that he didn’t have water. From what I understood, he was yelling that he was tired, that he didn’t care about going to jail.”

“I tried to start filming from that moment, but I didn’t because I couldn’t see anything — it was too crowded. And then I heard him take off his jacket.  He bundled it up and just threw it on the floor, very violently. You could hear the sound of the zipper hitting the floor. At that moment, when he threw the jacket, the people who were sitting around him stood up and moved away. He kept standing there, and he kept yelling,” Vázquez added.


A GiveSendGo fundraiser set up for Penny raised over $2 million.

“Daniel Penny is, a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died,” the fundraiser description reads. “Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense.”

Any leftover money from the fundraiser will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in NYC.


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