The vigilante who was shown on video choking an unarmed Black man to death on the New York City subway last week finally surrendered to the police on Friday morning.
Photos show Daniel Penny walking into the NYPD’s 5th precinct police station in downtown Manhattan accompanied by his lawyer. The 24-year-old Marine was expected to be arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shocking killing of Jordan Neely, who was in the throes of a mental health crisis when he died May 1.
The delayed action by law enforcement officials renewed scrutiny of the two men seen on video helping Penny hold down Neely, making it unclear whether they would also be held accountable for the vigilante killing.
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton called for them to be “held accountable,” too.
“Charges against this young man who thought he was above the law is just step one in justice for Jordan Neely. The video of him grabbing Jordan and strangling him to death is disturbing and any jury should see it as such,” Sharpton said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “Let’s not forget that there were three people restraining him, and it is vital that the two others are also held accountable for their actions. The justice system needs to send a clear, loud message that vigilantism has never been acceptable. Being homeless or Black or having a mental health episode should not be a death sentence.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on Thursday confirmed that Penny was expected to turn himself in on Friday. After Penny’s expected arrest, he will be taken to Manhattan Criminal Court and arraigned on the charges.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has championed no cash bail, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Penny booked and quickly released on his own recognizance with the assurance he will appear at his next court date.
The district attorney’s office is expected to make an official statement following Penny’s arraignment.
Penny’s arrest came nearly a full two weeks after eyewitnesses claim he came up behind Neely and placed the 30-year-old in a sprawling chokehold over what’s been described as a perceived threat from the homeless man on the subway.
New York City has erupted in protests since Penny killed Neely, demanding an arrest and accountability. The outrage was partially fueled by the forgiving treatment of the NYPD, which swiftly arrested him before releasing him without charges a short time after he killed Neely.
While Neely’s family has called for Penny to be charged with murder, they’ve also reserved some of their ire for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who previously seemed to describe Penny as a good Samaritan instead of a vigilante who committed homicide, as determined by the local medical examiner’s office.
Neely’s family implored in a statement for Adams to “please give us a call,” emphasizing that the “family wants you to know that Jordan matters.”
The statement later added: “You seem to think others are more important than him … You cannot ‘assist’ someone with a chokehold.”
This is a breaking news story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
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