New York, NY – Conservative rocker Kid Rock ponied up $5,000 for the crowdfunding initiative for the legal defense fund of a U.S. Marine veteran who put a violent homeless man in a fatal chokehold on the New York City Subway.
“Mr. Penny is a hero. Alvin Bragg is a POS. Kid Rock,” the politically-active entertainer wrote beside his contribution, FOX News reported.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Thursday that he was filing charges against 24-year-old Daniel Penny, a military veteran who subdued a homeless man who was behaving erratically and making threats on a New York Subway train, Townhall reported.
“After an evaluation of the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office determined there was probable cause to arrest Daniel Penny and arraign him on felony charges,” Bragg said in a statement. “Jordan Neely should still be alive today, and my thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss during this extremely painful time.”
Critics have said that the charges against the Marine hero are a result of prosecutors bowing to pressure from activists who have been protesting the death of 30-year-old Jordan Neely, a homeless Michael Jackson impersonator with a colorful police record.
Penny placed Neely in a chokehold with the help of two other passengers on a New York City Subway F Train after the homeless man began ranting and throwing things at passengers on May 1.
The takedown and ensuing struggle, captured in a now-viral video, showed the veteran holding Neely until the street performer stopped moving.
The video showed that Neely was held around the neck for two minutes and 55 seconds, BBC News reported.
Neely was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital after police arrived and pronounced dead.
Defense attorneys for Penny said their client didn’t mean to kill the homeless man but was only trying to protect other passengers on the subway from the violent suspect.
Penny is a decorated military veteran who has no criminal record, but Neely had been arrested more than 40 times, including for trying to kidnap a seven-year-old girl, Townhall reported.
There was a warrant out for his arrest at the time of his death for assaulting a 67-year-old woman in November of 2021, according to court records.
NYPD said there were another 40 recent police calls for “aided cases” that involved Neely, Townhall reported.
Bragg charged Penny with second-degree manslaughter on May 11 and the veteran turned himself in the next morning at a police precinct, the New York Post reported.
Penny was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 12 and then released on a $100,000 cash bond, The Washington Post reported.
If convicted, the military veteran is facing up to 15 years in prison for Neely’s death.
Penny’s supporters were outraged at the charges against the Marine veteran and have rallied behind him, FOX News reported.
Update: Thanks to generous Americans like @Timcast and so many others, Daniel Penny’s legal fund has now raised over **$2 MILLION**
We the People will right this wrong and defeat this social injustice https://t.co/lfbrQaxGj2 pic.twitter.com/PkaZg8YH50
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) May 15, 2023
Many have complained that discouraging good Samaritans from stepping up to the plate in such situations will make the subway system more dangerous for everyone.
Penny has received support from a wide range of organizations and individuals, FOX News reported.
NY subway good Samaritan Daniel Penny head held high, shoulders back. @ManhattanDA Alvin Bragg used the escorting officers, who had no choice, for a shameful photo op. Bragg has stopped good Samaritans from stopping criminals. Penny's defense fund is here https://t.co/ZDpzG5uqgC pic.twitter.com/nagRl5N9eA
— National Police Association (@NatPoliceAssoc) May 13, 2023
The GiveSendGo fundraiser established to support Penny’s legal defense fund had raised nearly $2.5 million as of publication time.