Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old former U.S. Marine, spoke out for the first time since he put Jordan Neely in a chokehold on a New York City subway at the start of the month, which later resulted in Neely’s death.
Penny, who was charged with second degree manslaughter and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, told the New York Post that the incident had nothing to do with race.
Penny placed Neely, a homeless man with over 40 arrests and a history of mental health issues, in a chokehold after Neely embarked on an aggressive rant and began screaming that he did not care if he went to jail.
“This had nothing to do with race,” he said. “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. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened.”
Penny said he would not go into details of what happened because of his pending case, but said that the incident was unlike “anything I’d experienced before.”
“This was different, this time was much different,” Penny said. “This time was very different.”
Penny said that he was on his way to go swimming at the gym and that he was taking the subway because he loves public transportation.
When asked what he would say to Neely’s family, Penny said, “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life. It’s tragic what happened to him. Hopefully, we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”
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When asked if he would do it again, he nodded his head, according to the Post.
“You know, I live an authentic and genuine life,” Penny said. “And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present.”
Penny said he has not followed much of the backlash and he didn’t even know who some of the major left-wing advocates were who were demonizing him because he gave up social media years ago.
“I don’t follow anyone, and I don’t have social media because I really don’t like the attention and I just think there are better ways to spend your time,” he said. “I don’t like the limelight.”
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