A #NewYorkCity judge has refused to dismiss the case against #DanielPenny, a Marine veteran accused of placing #JordanNeely, a Black subway rider, in a fatal chokehold last year. Penny, 25, had pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Neely, 30, who was known for performing Michael Jackson dance routines as a subway busker.
The incident occurred on the F train in Manhattan when Neely reportedly began an aggressive speech about being thirsty and hungry. A witness, Juan Alberto Vazquez, captured part of the altercation on video, showing Penny holding Neely in a chokehold on the ground while two other passengers helped restrain him. According to Vazquez, the chokehold lasted about 15 minutes.
Penny, who is white, claimed he was defending himself and other passengers from Neely's aggressive threats. His attorneys had sought the dismissal of the case, arguing that one passenger feared for his life when Neely approached.
Jordan Neely, who was homeless and had mental health issues, tragically died from "compression of neck (chokehold)," ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. The case has reignited discussions about homelessness, mental health, and violence on subways.
The judge's decision not to dismiss the charges has been seen as a victory for Neely's family and their attorney, Dante Mills, who expressed confidence that Penny would be found guilty. Penny's attorneys, however, remain confident in their client's actions and anticipate a just verdict in the upcoming trial scheduled for March 20.