Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran, was charged with manslaughter in the second degree for the May 1 killing of 30-year-old Jordan Neely.
The three-minute video, filmed by journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, shows Penny locking Neely in a chokehold on the floor of the train car. Vazquez reported that Penny choked Neely for close to 15 minutes after Neely began “yelling” on the train.
“The man got on the subway car and began to say a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn’t care about anything, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care that he gets a big life sentence,” he told NBC New York. “That ‘It doesn’t even matter if I died.’”
New York’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide, listing his cause of death as “compression of neck (chokehold).”
While authorities had questioned Penny after the conflict, Penny was then released.
People gather to attend the vigil to honor the life of a 30-year-old man Jordan Neely who was killed by a 24-year-old Marine veteran on a subway in New York City on May 8.
Neely was known for being a talented impersonator of Michael Jackson. His killing sparked community outrage, with protests occurring inside the subway system leading to almost a dozen arrests, and reignited conversations about mental health, homelessness and race.
Penny’s attorneys put out a statement saying he “never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
In a subsequent statement, Neely’s family called Penny’s statement an “admission of guilt” and argued that Penny’s “actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison.”
“The truth is, [Penny] knew nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing,” attorneys for the family said.
“Daniel Penny suggests that the general public has shown ‘indifference’ for people like Jordan, but that term is more appropriately used to describe himself,” the statement continues. “It is clear he is the one who acted with indifference.”
Neely’s family also said he fell into a deep depression after his mother was fatally strangled when he was 14.