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    Watch: Manhattan Court Arraigns Ex-Marine Daniel Penny for Manslaughter in Death of Subway Rider Jordan Neely

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    Daniel Penny, the man accused of killing Jordan Neely by choking him on the subway, was formally charged with second-degree manslaughter by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. In his arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court, Penny, a 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran, appeared before Judge Kevin McGrath dressed in a dark gray suit and a white dress shirt, and was released on bail after not entering a plea. Prosecutors requested that he surrender his passport within 48 hours.

    Penny’s lawyer, Thomas Kenniff, revealed that he is a native New Yorker enrolled in college studying architecture and highlighted his military achievements. The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, released a statement explaining that the decision to arrest Penny was based on witness interviews, photo and video evidence, and discussions with the medical examiner’s office, which determined Neely’s cause of death to be homicide. Bragg expressed condolences to Neely’s family and emphasized that Neely should still be alive.

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    Earlier on the same day, Penny turned himself in to the police and was subsequently taken to Manhattan Criminal Court. The incident occurred on May 1 when Penny encountered Neely, who had a history of mental illness, on an F train. Witnesses reported that Neely was acting aggressively towards other passengers, but there is no evidence that he physically attacked anyone before Penny began choking him. Prosecutors described how Penny approached Neely, placed him in a chokehold, and held him on the ground for several minutes. A video of the incident captured Penny continuing to choke Neely even after he had stopped moving.


    The decision to charge Penny came after widespread calls from city leaders, politicians, and advocates for the arrest of Penny. They argued that Neely’s killing exposed the city’s failure to support its vulnerable and marginalized residents struggling with mental illness and homelessness. Some critics also criticized Mayor Eric Adams for his initial response, which they deemed insufficient. However, Mayor Adams later expressed condolences to Neely’s family and affirmed his faith in the judicial process when the district attorney’s office announced its intention to charge Penny.

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    Neely, once a subway performer known for his impersonation of Michael Jackson, had been dealing with severe mental illness in recent years. He frequently interacted with outreach workers from the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a nonprofit organization contracted by the city to assist homeless individuals in the subway system.

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