A fundraising campaign for former Marine Daniel Penny, who was charged with manslaughter after holding Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold on the subway, has now topped $800,000.
The 24-year-old architecture student was filmed restraining homeless man Neely, 30, on a New York City train on May 1. Neely died later in the hospital, and Penny was questioned by police and released. But the incident ignited a huge nationwide debate and protests after a fellow passenger, independent journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, shared a clip of the incident online and it went viral. Penny was subsequently charged with second-degree manslaughter on Friday.
Some believe Penny was a “Good Samaritan” who stepped in to help others after Neely acted aggressively, others have dismissed the former soldier’s actions as a brutish overreaction, while some have framed it along racial lines as Penny is white and Neely was black.
Now, as Penny faces a possible trial, a campaign has been launched by his legal team to raise funds for his defense. Their efforts received a publicity boost after Florida Governor — and likely future presidential candidate—Ron DeSantis shared a link to the fundraiser site with his 1.7 million Twitter followers late on Friday night.
The politician, himself a veteran of the forces after serving in the Navy, tweeted: “We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.”
The fundraising appeal went live on Thursday as it became clear an arrest was imminent and reached $100,000 within 24 hours.
As of Saturday morning EDT, the pot had reached more than $872,000.
The statement on the GiveSendGo website read: “Daniel Penny is, a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died. Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense. All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”
The post added that, “All funds will be sent to and managed by the law offices of Raiser & Kenniff, P.C.”
Newsweek reached out to Raiser & Kenniff, P.C. through their website on Saturday for comment.
We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.https://t.co/uQXZuT19Mo
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) May 13, 2023
Penny released a statement through his lawyers on Friday, which read: “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
But Neely’s loved ones have demanded justice. Lawyer Donte Mills, speaking on behalf of the family, told reporters Neely was simply suffering from poor mental health and needed help. “Mr. Neely didn’t attack anyone, he didn’t touch anyone, he didn’t hit anyone, but he was choked to death. That can’t stand.” He added that Penny deserved to be charged with manslaughter because he allegedly acted with indifference towards Neely’s life.
The post Daniel Penny Fundraiser Hits $800k As Ron DeSantis Backs ‘Good Samaritan’ appeared first on Newsweek.