Jordan Neely’s family slams self-defense argument from Marine who put him in fatal chokehold on subway: ‘Needs to be in prison’
NEW YORK — Jordan Neely’s family continues to press authorities to arrest the man who killed him on a Manhattan subway train, saying Marine Daniel Penny “acted with indifference” when he put the troubled Michael Jackson impersonator in a chokehold.
A full week has gone by since Neely’s death, and no criminal charges have been filed. Penny, through lawyers, has since said he was acting in self-defense, a claim that has only incensed Neely’s family.
“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,” Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards, lawyers for Neely’s family, said in a statement Monday.
“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 lawyers were responding to a statement put out on Penny’s behalf in which the 24-year-old Marine’s representatives called Neely’s death a “tragic accident.”
“Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.” Penny’s lawyers said Friday.
But Neely’s family took issue with Penny’s statement, noting that it contained neither “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’s lawyers said in their statement. “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 medical examiner’s office has ruled Neely’s death a homicide,
Neely was arrested 42 times in the last 10 years, most recently in November 2021 for slugging a 67-year-old female stranger in the face as she exited a subway station. He has a history of mental illness.
The statement from Penny’s lawyers addressed the mental illness issue and urged elected officials to do more to address the city’s mental health crisis.
But Neely’s family’s lawyers said Penny’s actions were not justified.
“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,” the Neely family lawyers said.
Cops and witnesses said Neely, 30, was acting erratically and threatening passengers before Penny intervened.
Penny, 24, was taken into custody for questioning after the deadly scuffle but was released.