Daniel Penny, the former-Marine who killed 30-year-old Jordan Neely earlier this month by putting him in a chokehold for several minutes, is speaking out.
In a conversation with the New York Post that was published on Saturday, Penny told the outlet that Neely’s death had nothing to do with race but was a result of a broken system that has failed its citizens.
“This had nothing to do with race,” Penny told the outlet. “I judge a person based on their character. 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. 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 continued to say he’s a “normal guy” and that the incident was nothing he’s ever experienced in his life. According to Penny, he was just going to the gym that day when everything unfolded.
“I was going to my gym,” Penny said. “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 added that passengers on the F train that day can back up his client’s account as Neely was allegedly bothering them by asking for water and food.
“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documented,” he said. “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. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”
Daniel Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter and is out on $100,000 bail. According to Penny’s attorney, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has six months to put together a grand jury indictment against Penny.
Jordan Neely’s family has called for Penny to go on trial for murder but his attorneys claimed he didn’t intend on killing the former Michael Jackson impersonator. He was, as he’s argued, trying to protect himself and other commuters from possible danger.
Penny also had somber words for Neely’s family. According to Penny, he feels the family’s pain over the loss of Jordan but said he wouldn’t hesitate to protect himself and others again.
“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,” he said. “You know, I live an authentic and genuine life. And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present.”
Penny went on to say that he was surprised by the backlash he was receiving as he doesn’t tap in with the news or social media.
“If you’re faced with all these challenges, you have to remain calm,” he said. “What’s the point of worrying about something, worrying is not going to make your problems disappear. I attribute this to my father and grandfather. They are very very stoic.”
He added: “I don’t follow anyone, and I don’t have social media because I really don’t like the attention and I just think there are better ways to spend your time. I don’t like the limelight.”
Planning a trip through Africa doesn’t make anyone less racist. Lock him up.