A grand jury in New York has indicted 24-year-old Daniel Penny for manslaughter in the subway chokehold death of artist Jordan Neely, according to multiple reports citing law enforcement.
The exact charges are still not confirmed and are not expected to be unsealed until Penny appears before a judge at a later court date. The charges given before the indictment was handed down were for second-degree manslaughter, NBC reported.
It was still uncertain by Thursday what the sealed court documents will reveal about other details on any charges against Penny.
The case gained national attention after the May 1 incident in which Jordan Neely is seen on video standing up on a train car in New York City, and then being put in a chokehold inside of the car.
A freelance journalist recorded the video showing Neely trying to free himself from the chokehold, while appearing to go unconscious.
Attorneys for Penny say Neely was acting threatening towards passengers.
The case has put the spotlight on the treatment of those with possible mental illness symptoms in public, as well as on issues of race, crime and vigilantism on New York City public transit.
Attorneys for Penny said he dealt with the situation “with the sort of integrity and honor that is characteristic of who he is, and characteristic of his honorable service in the United States Marine Corps.”
Neely's death sparked an outcry of demonstrations in New York rebuking Penny's actions in the tragic incident, but also saw others come out in support of Penny.
Al Sharpton delivered Neely's eulogy in a packed New York City church.
Sharpton said, "A good Samaritan helps those in trouble. They don't choke 'em out. We keep criminalizing people with mental illness. People keep criminalizing people that need help. They don't need abuse. They need help."
We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left's pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine... America’s got his back.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) May 13, 2023
Meanwhile, Republican presidential hopefuls have spoken out on Daniel Penny's behalf, from Nikki Haley to Ron DeSantis, who tweeted out a donation link for the former Marine. The donation page has raised $2.8 million so far.
In a recent video, Penny spoke out in his own defense.
Police said some witnesses alleged Neely had been harassing passengers on the train prior to the incident. Some claimed that Penny was not specifically being threatened when he decided to confront Neely.
Other reports said Neely was not acting in a violent manner towards any particular passenger.
If convicted, the charges could carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
A jury in New York could be required to find that Penny acted with reckless conduct creating an unjustifiable risk of death, and that he consciously disregarded that risk.
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