Gov. Ron DeSantis Calls Daniel Penny A ‘Good Samaritan’ After Jordan Neely Killing
Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old military veteran facing criminal charges for putting a New York City subway rider in a fatal chokehold earlier this month, was acting as a “Good Samaritan” in the eyes of hard-right Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
He shared a link to where Penny is collecting funds for his legal defense on Twitter Friday evening.
In the same post, the governor — rumored to be launching his bid for the Republican presidential nomination any day now — ranted against “the Soros-Funded DAs” in reference to popular right-wing boogeyman George Soros, an elderly Jewish billionaire who supports progressive causes.
Penny surrendered on a manslaughter charge this week. The former U.S. Marine claims he acted in self-defense against Jordan Neely, a homeless Black man who openly addressed other passengers in the car.
The 30-year-old’s death set off protests in New York, which struggles to provide adequate services to people without housing, disproportionately represented by people of color, many of whom experience mental health problems.
“We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine... America’s got his back,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
His message reflected broader efforts by conservative politicians and media outlets to raise concern over the threat of crime nationwide.
In Neely’s case, the freelance journalist who filmed the incident, Juan Alberto Vasquez, has said Neely had been complaining that he did not have food and did not care about being sent to jail. Some people in the car moved away from him out of caution, but some did not, Vasquez told Curbed.
“They were just standing, watching him. They stayed there as if to say: ‘Well until we see that there is some kind of risk,’” Vasquez told the outlet. “To me, when Jordan throws his jacket, it is a way of saying: ‘There could be an act of violence here,’ because those things do happen all the time because just a year ago, there was a guy who went in and shot a lot of people on the train.”
He added: “And obviously, the marine, in the end, went too far. But the police also went too far in not arriving on time.”
Seeing people without homes in New York City’s subway system is commonplace. While the city contracts with teams to provide treatment and resources to the homeless people on the streets, advocates say the resources are not enough.