Bragg’s Office Files Criminal Charges Against Marine Who Put Jordan Neely in Chokehold


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is back in the news again, but this time it doesn’t have anything to do with his case against former President Donald Trump.

Bragg has filed criminal charges against a white former Marine who held a black man with a history of violence and mental health issues in a chokehold earlier this month after he made threatening actions on a New York subway.

On Friday, 24-year-old Daniel Penny is expected to turn himself into authorities for charges connected to Jordan Neely’s death. The decision to charge Penny came from Bragg’s office, according to NBC 4 in New York.

ABC Correspondent CeFaan Kim said on Twitter that Penny will face a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

On Wednesday, the New York City medical examiner officially confirmed that Neely’s cause of death was attributed to a “chokehold.” The ME categorized the incident as a “homicide,” but further legal proceedings would be required to establish intent or culpability.


Penny’s attorneys released a statement on the death late last week, saying that their client  “was involved in a tragic incident on the NYC Subway, which ended in the death of Jordan Neely.”

The statement, which was released by the law firm Raiser and Kenniff, P.C., added:

We would first like to express, on behalf of Daniel Penny, our condolences to those close to Mr. Neely. Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.

For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.

According to freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez and a report from The New York Post, witnesses recounted that on Monday afternoon, Neely engaged in an aggressive rant while in the subway. Witnesses described him as behaving erratically and reportedly heard him shouting that he was unconcerned about going to jail.

Penny and at least one other passenger moved to subdue Neely, who had been arrested at least 42 times over the past decade. But under New York City’s Democratic leadership, he apparently never received the mental health care he appeared to need.

Neely’s most recent arrest took place in November 2021, where he faced felony assault charges over an accusation he slugged a 67-year-old woman in the face. The assault resulted in significant injuries to the victim, and Neely was subsequently incarcerated for a period exceeding one year, the New York Daily News reported.

Friday morning, Fox News reported that Penny, 24, a college student, had surrendered to authorities.

Penny “is expected to be transported Friday to Manhattan Criminal Court and arraigned on one count of second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors are expected to ask for significant bail, a source told” the outlet.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference Thursday that “Jordan Neely did not deserve to die.” But some others who were in the subway car during the May 1 incident were grateful that Penny responded to protect them and himself.

“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him,” a 66-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, told The Post Thursday evening. “And I pray that he gets treated fairly, I really do. Because after all of this ensued, I went back and made sure that I said, ‘thank you’ to him.”


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