The family of Jordan NeelyA homeless man who choked to death on a New York subway train last week is condemning the actions of a U.S. Marine veteran who was seen on video holding Neely in a fatal restraint.
In a statement released Monday morning by their legal team, Neely’s family said the statement released last week by Daniel Penney’s attorney amounted to an “admission of guilt” and that “his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he to sit in prison.”
A lawyer for Penny said in a statement that he “never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office found the 30-year-old Neely’s death is murder.
Penny was questioned by police and released the same day, and has not been charged with a crime. There is a case He is expected to appear before a grand jury this week to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. A grand jury could consider the case as early as Monday. CBS New York reported.
The case caught fire days of protests protesters calling for justice for Neely.
“Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology or an expression of regret. This is character assassination and a clear example of why he felt he had the right to take Jordan’s life,” Neely’s family said in a statement on Monday. “In the first paragraph he talks about how ‘good’ he is, and in the next paragraph he talks about how ‘bad’ Jordan was, trying to convince us that Jordan’s life is ‘worthless.’ The truth is he didn’t know anything about Jordan’s history when he deliberately put his hands around Jordan’s neck and squeezed and kept squeezing.”
Video footage of the restraint, which took place in an F train car on May 1, shows Penny lying on the floor under Neely with both arms around his neck. Penny, 24, claimed he was acting to restrain a man who was behaving erratically, according to witnesses and Penny’s lawyer, who described the chokehold as “a tragic incident on the New York City subway that ended in the death of Jordan Neely.”
Sources previously told CBS New York that Neely was homeless and had a history of mental illness and had been arrested on charges including assault and disorderly conduct.
His family said Monday that Penny’s actions on the train and subsequent press release showed his “indifference” to Neely’s life and “shows why he should be in prison.”
“In the final paragraph, Daniel Penney suggests that the general public has shown ‘indifference’ to people like Jordan, but that term is more appropriate to describe himself. It’s clear that he acted indifferent, as he did when he killed Jordan and now in his first public message,” the statement said. “He never tried to help him. In short, his actions on the train and now his words show , why he should be in prison.”
The Neely family’s statement ended with a plea to New York City Mayor Eric Adams to “please call us.”
“The family wants you to know that Jordan matters,” the post read. “You seem to think that others are more important than him. You can’t ‘help’ someone by choking them.’