Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken to social media to promote a fundraiser for Marine veteran Daniel Penny, who recently turned himself in to authorities to face a second-degree manslaughter charge in connection with the death of Jordan Neely. Governor DeSantis, known for his conservative stance on criminal justice issues, expressed solidarity with Penny and emphasized the need to combat what he perceives as a left-wing pro-criminal agenda.
Sharing the fundraiser on Twitter, Governor DeSantis called for support against what he referred to as “Soros-Funded DAs” and the “Left’s pro-criminal agenda.” He urged law-abiding citizens to rally behind individuals like Daniel Penny, describing him as a Good Samaritan. The governor’s endorsement of the fundraiser garnered significant praise from the political Right.
The incident in question occurred on a New York City subway when Penny placed Neely, a homeless man with a history of mental health issues and multiple arrests, in a chokehold. Eyewitnesses reported that Neely had initiated an aggressive rant and was screaming that he did not care about the consequences, leading to the altercation. The decision to charge Penny with second-degree manslaughter was made by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office following public protests and demands for justice.
Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran, voluntarily surrendered himself at the 5th Precinct in lower Manhattan upon the request of the New York County District Attorney’s office. Thomas Kenniff, Penny’s lawyer, spoke highly of his client’s integrity and history of service to the nation. Penny is expected to be arraigned, and if convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
The New York City medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide, attributing it to the chokehold applied by Penny. However, criminal proceedings will be necessary to determine intent and culpability. Penny’s legal team issued a statement asserting that their client and others acted in self-defense to protect themselves and other subway passengers. They maintain that Penny never intended to harm Neely and could not have foreseen the tragic outcome.
Notably, Jordan Neely had an extensive criminal record, including violence-related charges. Two years ago, he was arrested for assaulting a 67-year-old woman and attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old girl. Although Neely pleaded guilty to felony assault in the first incident, he failed to complete his alternative-to-incarceration program, resulting in a missed compliance court date. He also pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child in the second incident and served a four-month jail sentence.
As the legal proceedings unfold, the case has sparked debate and raised questions about self-defense, criminal responsibility, and the handling of individuals with mental health issues within the criminal justice system. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have implications for discussions surrounding law enforcement, the rights of citizens to defend themselves, and the accountability of those involved in altercations with individuals with a history of criminal behavior.