‘We cannot allow THIS lawlessness’: Sharpton calls for charges against man who subdued Jordan Neely

Because he never misses an opportunity to toss some gasoline on a volatile situation, the Rev. Al Sharpton is demanding that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg bring criminal charges against Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old Marine who placed Jordan Neely in a chokehold, and against the two unidentified men who helped subdue him.

The controversial civil rights icon acknowledged that an investigation into Neely’s death was not yet complete, but why wait for that to make up your mind about prosecuting those involved? Perception, it seems, is all that really matters.

“I talked to the D.A.’s office,” Sharpton told the crowd at his weekly Saturday rally. “I said, I know y’all got to do an investigation — do what you gotta do, I’m not attacking nobody — but I’m saying, this man needs to be prosecuted, ’cause what you will do if you do not prosecute him in my judgment is you will set a standard of vigilantism that we cannot tolerate.”

“The precedent alone is a threat to all of us,” Sharpton stated, according to the Washington Examiner. “We cannot allow this lawlessness to go unchecked.”

Neely, 30, was a mentally ill, frequently homeless drug addict who once did Michael Jackson impersonations for tips. He had been arrested 44 times on charges like assault and disorderly conduct, American Wire News reported.

According to a freelance journalist who happened to be on the subway when the incident occurred, Neely began acting erratically the moment he got on the car, throwing trash at passengers and yelling that he was hungry, thirsty and had little to live for, according to The Examiner.

As riders became increasingly concerned, Penny moved in behind Neely and put him in the chokehold as two other men assisted in restraining him. After several minutes, Neely died. On Wednesday, the city’s medical examiner announced the cause of death: homicide by “compression of neck” or a “chokehold.”

“This man did not have his bio on his back,” Sharpton said of Neely’s rap sheet. “This man had a mental issue and the way you handle that is not to put him in a chokehold and squeeze the life out of him. A mental issue on a train is not to be sentenced with death.”

Penny was initially arrested by NYPD, but was released pending an investigation. Bragg is reportedly expected to take the case to a grand jury in the days to come.

In a statement late on Friday, attorneys for Penny stressed that the Marine acted to protect himself and others from the unpredictable behavior of someone in the midst of a mental health episode.

“When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived,” the statement read. “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”

Sharpton wasn’t swayed.

“I’m looking at the video,” he said. “You got one man choking and the other holding him down. They all need to be in front of a grand jury.”

Meanwhile, a prior victim of Neely believes Penny “shouldn’t be punished” for his actions.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Filemon Castillo Baltazar says Neely had assaulted him in 2019 as he was waiting for a train in Greenwich Village. Neely allegedly approached Baltazar, and, out of nowhere, punched him in the head.

“I felt a punch to my head. He didn’t say anything, he just hit me. He hit me above my right eye,” Baltazar said, according to the Daily Wire.

“He should have been in some rehab center,” he stated.

Penny’s attorneys expressed hope that, from this “tragedy,” the mental health crisis facing so many Americans will finally be addressed.

“For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference,” they said in Friday’s statement. “We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.


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Melissa Fine


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