Man Who Choked Jordan Neely On NYC Subway Will Face A Manslaughter Charge

The man who put Jordan Neely in a chokehold on a New York City subway train will be arrested and face a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

On May 1, Daniel Penny, a white 24-year-old former US marine, killed former subway passenger Jordan Neely after putting him in a chokehold. He’ll now potentially face a jail term of up to 15 years if found guilty of the crime.

In a video shared by a freelance journalist, Penny can be seen pinning Neely to the floor of a subway car, putting him in a chokehold for several minutes.

According to The New York Times, the journalist said he was on the train when he saw Neely, who was screaming that he was hungry and thirsty, but he had not harmed anyone. He then claimed he heard a thump, before seeing Penny and Neely together on the floor. His footage began recording after he saw Penny place Neely in a chokehold.

Neely was left unconscious on the floor of the train, before later dying in hospital. A medical examiner ruled the cause of death as a result of neck compression.

Friends say that Neely had been struggling with his mental health and homelessness in recent years, with his death sparking a wider conversation about inequality in the US and the treatment of the mentally ill.

Neely was a Black, unhoused Michael Jackson impersonator. His death has rightfully drawn attention to the gross inequality that plagues the US.

His death, which happened almost two weeks ago, has triggered anger across the US and the rest of the world, including ongoing protests. One TikTok video depicts a protest in a New York City subway.


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In a statement, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg gave some extra information about Penny’s arrest.

“We can confirm that Daniel Penny will be arrested on a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree,” he said.

“We cannot provide any additional information until he has been arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, which we expect to take place tomorrow.”

Penny was originally taken into custody for questioning but was later released without charges, prompting protests.

Protesters demonstrated against the death of Jordan Neely (Courtesy of Getty/Anadolu Agency)

Penny’s lawyers maintain that their client “never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death”. They also hinted that they were confident that once “all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing.”

But the lawyer for Neely’s family has rejected this, claiming Neely was “robbed of his life in a brutal way by someone who decided that they were judge, jury and executioner on the spot.”

According to The New York Times, Neely was well known to homeless outreach workers and had been violent in the past, being charged with assault at least four times.

However, it should also be noted that people on the subway wouldn’t have been aware of his history and that he was non-violent before the incident.