In a surprising twist, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis initiated fundraising efforts for Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran, 24, from New York City.
Penny is currently embroiled in a criminal case pertaining to the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who, according to witnesses and prosecutors, had been “intimidating and frightening individuals” on the subway.
DeSantis Raises Funds for Good Samaritan’s Legal Defense
Penny was officially charged in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday with second-degree manslaughter, following the fatal chokehold he applied on Neely.
The defense lawyers have put forth the argument that Penny’s actions were primarily in self-defense and for the protection of other passengers who were facing threats.
On Friday, DeSantis publicized a fundraiser dedicated to financing Penny’s legal defense. He labeled Penny as a “Good Samaritan,” while simultaneously denouncing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a “pro-criminal” and “Soros-Funded” prosecutor.
We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left's pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) May 13, 2023
DeSantis emphasized the importance of overcoming “Soros-Funded DAs,” halting the left’s “pro-criminal agenda,” and reclaiming the streets for citizens who respect the law.
DeSantis’ tweet included a link to a GiveSendGo page, established by Raiser & Kenniff, P.C., the legal firm representing Penny.
Fundraising Campaign Launched for Marine Veteran’s Legal Defense
The fundraising page’s description elucidates, “Funds are being gathered to pay for Mr. Penny’s legal fees resulting from any criminal charges brought forward, as well as any potential future civil lawsuits, in addition to expenses associated with his defense.”
The description further adds, “All contributions are immensely appreciated. Any collected proceeds exceeding those required for Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”
At the moment of publication, the GiveSendGo campaign had successfully raised $853,213, with the support of over 18,000 donors.
On the first of May, Penny, who is both a 24-year-old Marine veteran and college student, engaged in an altercation with 30-year-old Jordan Neely on a northbound F train.
Florida republican Gov. Ron DeSantis praised Daniel Penny as a “Good Samaritan” deserving of America’s support hours after the 24-year-old Marine was arraigned on a second-degree manslaughter charge in the death of Jordan Neely on a New York City subway. pic.twitter.com/p9vlk1wWhd
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) May 13, 2023
According to police and witness reports, Neely was menacing passengers on the subway during an apparent mental episode. He was pacing and shouting, inciting Penny to intervene. Penny wrestled him to the ground and applied a chokehold.
The city’s medical examiner concluded that Neely’s death was caused by the compression against his neck.
In the aftermath, Penny’s legal team pointed out Neely had a documented track record of volatile and unpredictable behavior, seemingly a product of untreated mental illness.