NYC subway driver who put Jordan Neely in a deadly stranglehold surrenders to police
The Marine veteran seen in a video putting Jordan Neely in a deadly chokehold on a New York City subway surrendered to police on Friday to face criminal charges in a case that has sparked protests and national talks about vigilance .
Daniel Penny, 24, was seen near the 5th Precinct stationhouse in Manhattan shortly after 8 a.m. ET. Officials said Thursday he is expected to be charged with second-degree manslaughter.
As he left the police station, he was handcuffed and escorted to a waiting car. Penny did not respond to questions from reporters.
He will face charges in Manhattan Criminal Court, the district attorney’s office said.
Penny arrived at the courthouse in an unmarked vehicle. The vehicle was brought into the building’s garage, and the garage was closed before reporters could see Penny enter the building.
Thomas Kenniff, a lawyer for Penny, said his client voluntarily turned himself in “with the kind of dignity and integrity that characterizes his history of service to this grateful nation.”
“The case is now going to court and we expect an arraignment to take place this afternoon. The trial will unfold from there,” he told reporters.
Mobile video footage partially captured the May 1 incident on a northbound F train. It showed Penny on the floor with Neely, 30, in a chokehold after an altercation.
Neely was unconscious when officers arrived and was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. The city’s coroner’s office said he died of “compression of the neck (chokehold)” and that the form was homicide.
Penny was briefly taken into custody and released after the incident.
Juan Alberto Vazquez, a witness who filmed the cell phone footage, told NBC New York that Neely got on the train and “started giving a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, thirsty, he didn’t care about anything.” gave, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care that he got a hefty life sentence Neely was homeless and described as a subway busker who performed dance routines in costume like Michael Jackson.
Neely was held in a chokehold for about 15 minutes, Vazquez said. The video showed two other subway drivers appearing to help restrain him.
Penny’s lawyers also said that Neely “aggressively threatened” passengers and that Penny never intended to harm him. However, Neely’s family rejected that account.
“It’s an assassination of character and a clear example of why he felt he had a right to take Jordan’s life,” said family lawyers Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards.
They also said Neely suffered from a mental illness “that began at the age of 14 when he witnessed the brutal murder of his mother.”
A police spokesperson said multiple 911 calls came in about a physical fight and that Neely and Penny were involved in an “verbal dispute” that “escalated into a physical altercation.”
“During the physical struggle between the two men, the 30-year-old man lost consciousness,” the spokesman said earlier.
Neely’s death sparked a national debate, with some politicians demanding that officials do more to tackle homelessness, mental health and violence in subways.
In a statement Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton urged the justice system to “send a clear, loud message that vigilance has never been acceptable.”
“Being homeless or black or having an episode of mental health shouldn’t be a death sentence,” he said, calling the charges against Penny “the first step in justice.”
Sharpton, the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” is expected to deliver the eulogy at Neely’s funeral this Friday in Harlem.
This is an evolving story. Check back later for updates.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com