Former Marine Daniel Penny gives first interview since Jordan Neely’s chokehold death, explains why he’s not a white supremacist

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Former Marine Daniel Penny gave his first interview since Jordan Neely’s chokehold death to the New York Post on Saturday. In the interview, Penny explained that he is not a white supremacist or a vigilante.

Last week, Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the chokehold death of Neely on a New York City subway car on May 1. Witnesses say Neely was acting erratic and aggressive to other subway riders.

Neely’s reported criminal record includes 42 prior arrests between 2013 and 2021, including four for assault. At the time of his death, he had an active warrant for felony assault in connection with a physical altercation in 2021.

During Neely’s funeral on Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton said, “When they choked Jordan, they put their arms around all of us.”

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Meanwhile, the GiveSendGo fundraising campaign for Penny’s legal defense has raised more than $2.7 million.

The Boston Globe accused Republicans of “financing white vigilantism.”

The Guardian stressed the races of Penny and Neely in a recent article, and used a quote from attorney Ron Kuby.

“It’s not new, and it’s not hard to explain,” Kuby said. “Your Penny is a white Marine, and his victim was a mentally ill, homeless … queer Black man. So that’s the agenda of white supremacy playing out right there.”

Penny refuted the accusations that the killing of the 30-year-old mentally ill homeless man had anything to do with race or white supremacy.

“This had nothing to do with race,” Penny told the New York Post.

“I judge a person based on their character,” Penny proclaimed. “I’m not a white supremacist.

“I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit comical. Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures,” the 24-year-old ex-Marine explained. “You can tell by my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened.”

Penny has traveled to Mexico, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Greece, and Spain.

Asked about the allegations that he is a white vigilante, Penny responded, “I’m a normal guy.”

Penny recounted that the day of the confrontation was “different, this time was much different.”

“I was going to my gym,” Penny recalled. “There’s a pool there. I like to swim. I was living in the East Village. I take the subway multiple times a day. I think the New York transit system is the best in the world and I’ve been all over the world.”

Penny’s attorney Thomas Kenniff said that fellow F train passengers were thankful for the ex-Marine standing up the Neely.

“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documented. I don’t think it’s going to even be controversial,” Kenniff said. “There are numerous witnesses from all different walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than to recount what actually happened. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”

Regarding the death of Neely, Penny said, “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life. It’s tragic what happened to him. Hopefully, we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”

When asked if he would take the same action again if he were in a similar situation, Penny declared, “You know, I live an authentic and genuine life. And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present …”

He added that he has nothing to be ashamed of because he always does what he thinks is right.

Penny said the threats he has received has forced him to take college classes remotely for his safety.

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Daniel Penny, charged in NYC subway chokehold death, finally speaks: “I am not a white supremacist”

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