On Thursday, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced that he was filing manslaughter charges against former Marine Daniel Penny. The 24-year-old put Jordan Neely in a chokehold to protect others on the subway after Neely had threatened other passengers with violence, causing Neely to lose consciousness and die later. Neely had a lengthy rap sheet, having been arrested over 40 times for crimes such as trying to kidnap a seven-year-old girl, a warrant out for his arrest for assaulting a 67-year-old woman, and more than 40 calls for “aided cases” to do with Neely. The charges put forth by Bragg are a matter of bowing to public pressure from those outraged about Neely’s death, neglecting to point out Neely’s prior criminal history.
Alvin Bragg to File Charges Against Hero Marine
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2023
Penny’s attorneys, Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff, insist on their client’s innocence, stating that they are confident their client did not mean to harm Neely and was only trying to protect himself and other passengers. Even so, Penny turned himself in to the police on Friday morning at the 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, and Kenniff expects his client to be arraigned later that day.
Mayor Eric Adams, a fellow Democrat, took issue with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) comments mourning Neely’s death, and Neely’s family members are looking for murder charges to be brought. Murder charges carry with them intent in New York, and Neely’s uncle, Christopher Neely, told the New York Post on Thursday that manslaughter charges are not enough. Neely’s Family is set to hold a press conference on Friday morning to talk about the charges and their next steps.
This is not the first time that Bragg has brought charges against someone defending themselves and others while being soft-on-crime, either. Last July, bodega worker Jose Alba was charged with second-degree murder for fatally stabbing an assailant who engaged in a rampage at his store and assaulted the bodega owner. Alba had no criminal record and claimed self-defense, but Bragg set an exorbitant amount of bail. The charges against Alba were ultimately dropped after much public outcry, and it was more recently reported that Alba plans to sue the city over wrongful persecution.
It is clear that Bragg’s decision to bring charges against Penny is yet another example of a prosecutor who won’t stand up for the law-abiding citizens of Manhattan and bend to public pressure to bring charges against a veteran who was protecting others on a subway from a violent criminal. The criminal justice system should not punish those who defend themselves and others, but rather those who initiate violence. We need more prosecutors who will stand up for justice and enforce the rule of law, not bow to political pressure and mob rule.