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Judge Strikes Down Requests to Dismiss Case Against Veteran Charged in Subway Chokehold Death

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A picture of Penny Daniel
Source: NightowlOzark/Twitter

A judge refused to dismiss the case against a U.S. Marine veteran who is facing manslaughter charges for fatally restraining a man with a chokehold on a New York City subway train.

Daniel Penny has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. These charges stem from the incident that occurred last May, leading to the death of Jordan Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator.

Witnesses reported that Neely was shouting and pleading for money on a Manhattan train during the incident. Penny, along with assistance from two other passengers, restrained Neely on the ground and maintained a chokehold for over three minutes.

Unfortunately, Neely, aged 30, lost consciousness during the altercation. Penny has claimed that his actions were in self-defense and aimed at protecting himself and others.

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Despite this defense, his attorneys filed a motion requesting the dismissal of the indictment, a plea rejected by the court. Following the court’s decision, Penny’s attorneys focused on the upcoming trial, which is anticipated to commence in the fall.

In a statement, attorneys Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff conveyed confidence, stating, “We are confident that a jury, aware of Danny’s actions in putting aside his safety to protect the lives of his fellow riders, will deliver a just verdict.”

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The case involves a white individual, Penny, and a Black man, Neely. Neely’s death in a subway altercation has sparked debates on racial justice and crime. Some view Penny as a hero, while others accuse him of racist vigilantism.

Neely, facing mental health and homelessness struggles, sought help in the subway but faced violence instead, according to his family and supporters.

One netizen shared, “If we had an adequate mental health system with appropriately supervised group homes and other living facilities, then Mr. Penny would have never been put in that tragic situation. IT’S THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM THAT SHOULD BE ON TRIAL IN THIS CASE. They had failed to adequately address and attend to the mentally ill since the 1970s when institutions were shuttered and the ill were pushed to the streets. Currently, the vast majority of this population is in jail or homeless.”

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Another commented, “Penny committed manslaughter. As a trained Marine he knew what would and could happen to someone in a ‘choke’ hold for too long, it says it in the name, ‘choke’ hold, no wonder Nelly choked to death.”

Lastly, another user expressed, “This guy is going to get screwed over. Neely had already been in previous incidents on the subway system. They had videos showing him assaulting and beleaguering people all the time. The guy had problems; it was obvious. And he had been confronted before. He wasn’t crying for help. These incidents were all too common, and he was the factor.”

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