Over the weekend, ex-marine, Daniel Penny, 24, released a statement about why he placed Jordan Neely, a homeless Michael Jackson impersonator, in a fatal chokehold while riding on a New York subway car. Now, the family of the street performer has responded with their own remarks regarding Penny’s account of the May 1 murder of the 30-year-old.
They also called for New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams to give them a call.
AllHipHop.com obtained the press release from the law firm Mills & Edwards lambasting Penny’s lawyers’ characterization of the incident and their client’s actions.
They dismissed the comments as a “non-apology” and are demanding justice for their loved one who was “killed” at the hands of the military man.
While pointing at Penny’s statements, lawyers Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards wrote on behalf of Jordan’s family, “Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret. It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan’s life.”
Adding, “In the first paragraph he talks about how ‘good’ he is, and the next paragraph he talks about how ‘bad’ Jordan was in an effort to convince us Jordan’s life was ‘worthless.’ The truth is, he knew nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck and squeezed and kept squeezing.”
“In the last paragraph, Daniel Penny suggests that the general public has shown ‘indifference’ for people like Jordan, but that term is more appropriately used to describe himself,” they continued. “It is clear he is the one who acted with indifference, both at the time he killed Jordan and now in his first public message. He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison.”
The family wants Adams and the world to know, Jordan’s life mattered just as much as any other person in the city— blasting anyone who assisted in the young man’s death or not speaking out against it.
According to NY1, Penny’s lawyers released a comment after the incident, one ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner.
While saying they sending their condolences to Neely’s family, they also noted the young man had a “documented history of violent and erratic behavior.”
He believed, though he did not know about said behavior, he was acting to protect other passengers on the subway.
It said in part, “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death. For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.”
They also wrote, “When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived.”
Little has been released about Penny’s background, but records show he served for four years in the military from 2017 to 2021.
Penny has not been charged with the homicide, according to the New York Times. There is no word on if there will be any charges for the crime against the ex-marine for killing the homeless man.