Sounds About White: Daniel Penny Standing His Ground In Defense Of Fatal Chokehold Against Jordan Neely

Sounds About White: Daniel Penny Standing His Ground In Defense Of Fatal Chokehold Against Jordan Neely

Daniel Penny, the man charged in the chokehold killing of Jordan Neely, is defending his actions with claims that he felt threatened by the mentally ill man, according to BET.

In a video statement released by his lawyers, the 24-year-old former Marine said Neely entered the train on May 1 and began threatening passengers.

“The man stumbled on, he appeared to be on drugs, the doors closed, and he ripped his jacket off and threw it down at the people sitting next to me at my left,” Penny said. “The three main threats he repeated over and over was ‘I’m going to kill you,’ ‘I’m prepared to go to jail for life,’ and ‘I’m willing to die.'”

Penny claimed his decision to restrain Neely in a chokehold, which resulted in his death, was one born of fear. “I was scared for myself but I looked around there was women and children, he was yelling in their faces saying these threats. I just couldn’t sit still,” he said.

According to police reports, Neely became aggressive with passengers and threw trash at several of them, which prompted Penny to subdue him, The New York Daily News reported. Penny did remain on the scene to answer questions from police but was let go soon after, sparking racially charged debates around the death of yet another unarmed Black man.

Attorney Lennon Edwards, who is representing Neely’s family, said Penny’s intentions were to fatally harm the former Michael Jackson impersonator, as made clear by his course of action.

“Daniel Penny chose, intentionally chose, a technique to use that is designed to cut off air—that’s what he chose—and he chose to continue to hold that chokehold minute after minute, second after second, until there was no life left in Jordan Neely,” he said.

Penny vehemently disagrees with claims that he intended to murder Neely, insisting that his only intent was to restrain him and that his race was not a factor, according to BET.

“Some people say this was about race, which is absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t see a Black man threatening passengers. I saw a man threatening passengers. A lot of whom were people of color,” he said in his statement.

Currently, Penny faces 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree manslaughter charge.