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Turning Swords Into Plowshares

One Critical Legal Test for the Former Marine at the Center of NYC Chokehold Controversy

AP Photo/Brooke Lansdale

Jordan Neely went crazy on a New York City subway and paid for it with his life. He was placed in a chokehold by a former marine who remained anonymous until recently. It’s sparked a flurry of outrage mostly contained to the Big Apple and the liberal media. Given the mass shooting in Allen, Texas, over the weakened and the press’ ongoing attempt to sell the narrative that the shooter was a nonwhite Nazi, this story might get buried. 


It's a story that centers on the Left’s penchant to wage war against police departments, dismiss the mental health system, and allow lawlessness to pervade our cities. Neely had an extensive mental health history but didn’t get the help he needed. And when he had an episode and threatened a crowd on a subway, one man intervened. That might have lasting legal consequences, thanks to Democratic Party policies that have chipped away at public safety. District Attorney Alvin Bragg has opted to bring charges even in self-defense cases. A bodega clerk, Jose Alba, was initially charged with murder after he stabbed a man who tried to attack him. A parking valet was also accused of murder when a car thief pulled a gun on the attendant, who then wrestled the firearm away from the perpetrator leading to the suspect being shot and killed. 

We should expect that in this case tragically. And if people wonder why no one wants to intervene to stop criminality before their eyes, these are your reasons. The former marine has been identified as Daniel Penny, whose lawyer says “reasonableness” will be the deciding factor concerning legal charges (via Associated Press): 

The potential criminal charges against a U.S. Marine veteran who put Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold aboard a New York City subway train might depend on whether a “reasonable” New Yorker would have acted similarly.

Neely, a locally-known Michael Jackson impersonator who friends say suffered from worsening mental health, died Monday when a fellow rider pulled him to the floor and pinned him with a hold taught in combat training. 

Neely had been screaming at other passengers but hadn’t attacked anyone, according to a freelance journalist who recorded video of his final minutes. 

The man who administered the chokehold, Daniel Penny, said through his lawyers Friday that he was only protecting himself after Neely threatened him and other passengers.

“Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” said his lawyers, Thomas Kenniff and Steven Raiser.


Given the track record of Mr. Bragg’s office, Mr. Penny should prepare to be charged.

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