Daniel Penny, charged in NYC subway chokehold loss of life, breaks silence: ‘I am not a white supremacist’


Ex-Marine Daniel Penny insisted to The Post Saturday that the chokehold killing of Jordan Neely had nothing to do with race — and all the pieces to do with a damaged system “that so desperately failed us.”

In his first public feedback because the caught-on-video May 1 tragedy on an F practice, Penny was each soft-spoken and stoic about being on the heart of a political and racial firestorm, as he faces legal fees that might ship him to jail for as much as 15 years.

“This had nothing to do with race,” mentioned Penny, 24, sitting beneath a gazebo at Argyle Park in Babylon, not removed from the Long Island seashores the place he grew up browsing.

Dressed in black slacks, a blue zip-up jacket and beat-up Vans sneakers, Penny didn’t flinch when requested about Neely, a black, 30-year-old mentally unwell homeless man.

“I choose a particular person based mostly on their character. I’m not a white supremacist.

“I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit comical. Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures. You can tell by my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened.”

He is not a vigilante, Penny mentioned. “I’m a normal guy.”

The confrontation on the practice started after Neely allegedly started yelling at different straphangers and throwing trash. Penny mentioned he might not go into element concerning the occasions that then transpired due to his pending case, however he indicated it wasn’t like “anything I’d experienced before.”

“This was different, this time was much different,” Penny mentioned.

He paused and mentioned once more, “This time was very different.”

Penny’s legal professional Thomas Kenniff of the Manhattan regulation agency Raiser & Kenniff mentioned that fellow F practice passengers will again up his shopper’s account.

“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documented. I don’t think it’s going to even be controverted. There are numerous witnesses from all different walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than to recount what actually happened. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”

Penny mentioned he was coming again to Manhattan from college and was en path to his gymnasium on West twenty third Street when the chaotic encounter erupted. He did not need to title the varsity the place he’s finding out structure. He is now taking lessons remotely.

“I was going to my gym,” Penny mentioned. “There’s a pool there. I like to swim. I was living in the East Village. I take the subway multiple times a day. I think the New York transit system is the best in the world and I’ve been all over the world.”

Penny seized Neely across the neck and dropped to the ground as a second and third man tried to restrain him additional, based on witnesses and video of the deadly encounter.

The metropolis medical expert has dominated Neely’s loss of life a murder, noting he died because of “compression of neck (chokehold).”

What we learn about NYC subway choking sufferer Jordan Neely

Who was Neely?

Jordan Neely, 30, a homeless man, was strangled aboard a northbound F practice simply earlier than 2:30 p.m. May 1, based on police.

He reportedly began performing erratically on the practice and harassing different passengers earlier than being restrained and finally choked by a straphanger, recognized as Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old former Marine from Queens.

Penny, who was seen on video making use of the chokehold, was taken into custody and later launched. He was ultimately charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Why is there fallout over Neely’s loss of life?

The metropolis medical expert dominated Neely’s loss of life a murder, noting he died because of “compression of neck (chokehold).”

Neely’s aunt instructed The Post that he grew to become a “complete mess” following the brutal homicide of his mom in 2007. She famous he was schizophrenic and suffered from PTSD and despair.

“The whole system just failed him. He fell through the cracks of the system,” Carolyn Neely mentioned.

Who is Penny?

24-year-old former Marine Daniel Penny served as an infantry squad chief and an teacher in water survival whereas in the Marines Corps from 2017 to 2021, based on his on-line resume. Penny graduated from highschool in West Islip, NY.

He surrendered to authorities 11 days after he positioned Neely in a deadly chokehold on an F practice.


Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter and is free on $100,000 bail. It is not clear if authorities will look to cost the opposite two males. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has six months to safe a grand jury indictment in opposition to Penny, based on Penny’s legal professional, Steven M. Raiser.

Neely’s household has mentioned Penny must be tried for homicide.

But Penny’s attorneys have mentioned he didn’t intend to kill Neely when he choked him — he was merely making an attempt to defend himself and fellow straphangers from a threatening homeless man, who had a lengthy historical past of psychological sickness and quite a few prior arrests.

When requested what he would say to the household of Jordan Neely, whose funeral was Friday, Penny seemed somber, fastidiously selecting his phrases.

“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life,” he mentioned ” It’s tragic what occurred to him. Hopefully, we will change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”

But when requested if he would take motion once more if he have been in a comparable state of affairs, Penny nodded.

“You know, I live an authentic and genuine life,” Penny mentioned. “And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present …”

Does he really feel he did something to be ashamed of?

“I don’t, I mean, I always do what I think is right.”

The Post learn Penny the assertion made by the Rev. Al Sharpton at Neely’s funeral in Harlem Friday: “We can’t live in a city where you can choke me to death with no provocation, no weapon, no threat and you go home and sleep in your bed while my family has to put me into a cemetery.”

Penny nodded however mentioned he was “not sure” who Sharpton is. “I don’t really know celebrities that well.”

He added that he does not watch the information. While he’s conscious of among the negativity towards him — and mentioned he was considerably shocked by the media onslaught — he remained philosophical.

“If you’re faced with all these challenges, you have to remain calm. What’s the point of worrying about something, worrying is not going to make your problems disappear. I attribute this to my father and grandfather. They are very very stoic.”

“If you’re faced with all these challenges, you have to remain calm. What’s the point of worrying about something, worrying is not going to make your problems disappear. I attribute this to my father and grandfather. They are very very stoic.”

Penny mentioned he gave up social media years in the past.

“I don’t follow anyone, and I don’t have social media because I really don’t like the attention and I just think there are better ways to spend your time. I don’t like the limelight.”

Penny, who has three sisters, mentioned he has been surrounded by household and associates because the incident — and says his household is “hanging in there.”

“My mom is OK,” he mentioned. “My sisters understand. They all support me.”

Penny described a comparatively comfortable childhood rising up in the West Islip space. He was one among 4 kids. His dad and mom cut up up when he was younger.

He mentioned his two position fashions are his grandfathers, one among whom immigrated from Italy. The different grandfather is a first-generation American whose dad and mom immigrated from Italy. He mentioned he moved round a lot in the West Islip space due to his dad and mom’ cut up however spent a lot of his adolescence in a home proper close to the ocean that his great-grandfather purchased in the Nineteen Sixties.

“My grandmother was raised there,” Penny mentioned. “And then my father and his brothers were raised there. And then me and my sisters were able to grow up there. I’m very thankful. It is a beautiful house right [near] the water. We wouldn’t have been able to live that lifestyle on the water if it wasn’t for my family.”

Penny mentioned his dad and mom’ divorce was troublesome however it had an upside.

“It brought me and my sisters closer. You know, we’re really close. I love my sisters. I have three of them. I’d do anything for them.”

Penny attended Suffolk Community College after graduating from West Islip High School the place he was a lacrosse star – earlier than enlisting in the Marines.

“Growing up in the wake of 9/11 and the terrorist attacks in a community full of firemen, first responders, police officers, it was like, I needed to serve my community in some way.”

Penny was deployed twice with the twenty second Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“We went to Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Greece and Spain,” he mentioned. “We stayed off the coast of Iran for a bit. It was during that whole drone thing when they were shooting stuff down and stuff.”

Penny additionally went to Okinawa, Japan.

“I love to travel,” he mentioned. “It really changed my perspective of the world for sure. I’m very thankful for being able to travel so much. Just the friendliness and welcoming of everyone and everywhere that I went to. And even before I deployed, you know, a lot of my friends I served with in my platoon came from all over a lot from Central America and Mexico, that, you know, I’ve opened up my, my eyes to their cultures and their perspectives.”

“I loved leading Marines and I love being around Marines,” he mentioned of his service, the place he ultimately achieved the rank of sergeant. “I love helping people.”

Penny mentioned he “didn’t try to become a leader” in the Marine Corps.

Penny mentioned he didn’t “try to become a leader” in the Marines. “I just did what I had to do. And I think growing up in a majority female household, you learn to lead in different ways from an early age. You learn to have compassion and humility — and disregard your perspective and show compassion to other people’s perspectives as well.”

Leaving the Marines was a “tough transition.”

“I really missed the interaction,” he mentioned. “I missed the adventure, you know. So last summer, I decided to drive from New York and do a road trip through Mexico and Central America all the way to Nicaragua.”

Penny mentioned he drove cross nation after which all the way down to Mexico, largely by himself however with a buddy a part of the time. He bought caught in a dangerous hurricane in an enchanted forest in Oaxaca, he mentioned, and was trapped on a mountain for 48 hours.

“My car got stuck in a landslide,” Penny mentioned. ”We had to hike and discover a native village to come back assist dig us out. They have been so pleasant and sort. They actually handled me like household.

“You hear so many bad things about these places,” Penny mentioned. “I just wanted to see for myself, and thankfully I was proven right that these people were always welcoming and friendly and treated me like family everywhere.”

Penny mentioned he was sitting in a espresso store in Guatemala final 12 months when he mentioned he “suddenly felt overwhelmingly at home.”

“I was in Antigua, Guatemala, in a coffee shop. And I was just kind of overwhelmed by a sense of home even though I couldn’t be further from home, you know. So I just I attribute that that obviously, the locals there. They were very welcome — and also the structure I was sitting in. It was there I decided I wanted to study architecture and maybe help inspire other feelings of home for other people.”

Penny mentioned he owes his calm demeanor to his many days on the water — and mentioned he deliberate to surf Saturday afternoon after the interview to blow off steam.

“I’ve been surfing my entire life,” he mentioned. “Growing up on the water, growing up at the beach, it’s what my father and grandfather did, too.”


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