People attend a rally to protest the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was choked to death on the subway, May 5, 2023, in Washington Square Park, New York City, NY (photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images).
The family of Jordan Neely isn’t standing for Daniel Penny’s non-apology. On Monday morning (May 8), the family released a statement in response to Penny’s recollection of the incident, in which 30-year-old Neely died after being held in a chokehold on New York City’s F train for a reported seven minutes.
New: Daniel Penny, the man who choked and killed Jordan Neely, has released a statement through his attorneys pic.twitter.com/QvHS5N69sG
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 6, 2023
“Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret. It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan’s life,” Neely’s family stated, per attorneys Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards. In the first paragraph, he talks about how ‘good’ he is and the next paragraph he talks about how ‘bad’ Jordan was in an effort to convince us Jordan’s life was ‘worthless.’ The truth is, he knew nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing.”
They added, “In the last paragraph, Daniel Penny suggests that the general public has shown ‘indifference’ for people like Jordan, but that term is more appropriately used to describe himself. It is clear he is the one who acted with indifference, both at the time he killed Jordan and now in his first public message. He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison.”
The family is now calling for Mayor Eric Adams to support a possible case against Penny, although the politician has ridiculed the public’s judgment towards the 24-year-old, who’s a former Marine. Penny’s identity was revealed last week when social images of him went viral, showing him as a graduate of West Islip High School and a former player of the school’s lacrosse team.
Last Friday (May 5), Penny’s lawyers gave a statement expressing their “condolences” for Neely’s death, before referencing his “documented history of violent and erratic behavior” and pointing out “elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.” Prior to his death last Monday (May 1), Neely was formerly a Michael Jackson impersonator.
This week, a grand jury is expected to decide whether Penny should be criminally charged for putting Neely in a chokehold that led to his death.