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Daniel Penny Breaks Silence Following Jordan Neely Manslaughter Charges, Says Confrontation Had 'Nothing to Do With Race'

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May 21 2023, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

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Ex-Marine Daniel Penny insisted that the chokehold killing of Jordan Neely had "nothing to do with race," instead blaming a "broken system" that led to the tragic incident, RadarOnline.com has learned.

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In his first public comments since the video of his confrontation with Neely was posted online, Penny told the Post, "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," he continued. "I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened."

He insisted that he wasn't a vigilante, "I'm a normal guy."

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The confrontation between Penny and Neely allegedly began after the homeless Michael Jackson impersonator started yelling at other passengers on the New York subway. The 30-year-old mentally ill man allegedly started throwing trash and things escalated to the point where the 24-year-old former marine held Neely in a chokehold for several minutes.

The incident resulted in Neely's death and Penny was ultimately charged with second-degree manslaughter after the city medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide, noting he died due to "compression of the neck."

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Penny's attorney, Thomas Kenniff, believes that fellow F train passengers will back up his client's story.

"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," he told the outlet. "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."

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In the video, Penny can be seen restraining Neely around the neck. They dropped to the floor as two others tried to restrain the homeless man further.

Neely's aunt, Carolyn Neely, claimed that her nephew became a "complete mess" after the brutal murder of his mother in 2007. She noted he had schizophrenia and suffered from both PTSD and depression.

"The whole system just failed him.," she told the Post. "He fell through the cracks of the system."

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Penny surrendered to authorities 11 days after the incident and is free on $100,000 bail.

According to Penny’s attorney, Steven M. Raiser, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has six months to secure a grand jury indictment against the ex-Marine.

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