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Ex-Marine Daniel Penny says 'tragic' subway death of Jordan Neely 'had nothing to do with race'

"I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist," Penny said.

Published: May 21, 2023 8:50am

Former Marine Daniel Penny, who is charged in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely on a New York City subway, said the incident was "tragic" and "had nothing to do with race."

In his first interview since Neely's death earlier this month, Penny, 24,  spoke with The New York Post on Saturday while he is free on $100,000 bail for second-degree manslaughter in the death of Neely, 30. Penny's attorneys have said he acted in self defense after Neely allegedly threatened fellow passengers and acted belligerent. 

"This had nothing to do with race," Penny said in the interview Saturday. "I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist. ... Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures."

Penny also said he is not a vigilante but a "normal guy" who was on his way to the gym before the confrontation on the subway with Neely, a homeless man with a history of mental illness.

Discussing Neely's actions before the chokehold, Penny said: "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 controverted. 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."

Neely's family says Penny should be tried for murder.

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

When asked whether he would act the same way in a similar situation, Penny nodded and said: "You know, I live an authentic and genuine life, and I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present."

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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