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Publisher / Editor:
Paul Hayden

Good Samaritan, Hero, or Vigilante

May 22, 2023

Two lives brought together under chaotic conditions, one dies, and the other stands before the justice system and the people who will decide his fate.

“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today, I want to be a part of it New York, New York.” These are the opening lyrics to the classic song sung by the late Frank Sinatra. Sadly, these words have lost much of their luster, as many residents no longer want to be a part of it and have left the city for greener, perhaps safer pastures would be a more accurate description.

The “city that never sleeps” has over the past several years slipped into a coma, with no positive prognosis of its ever regaining consciousness. The city is experiencing a crisis of faith, its spirit has been broken, and a state of incivility and uncertainty persists. One can point the finger of blame at a number of issues that plague most large major urban areas: crime, homelessness, poverty, out-of-control illegal immigration, and fear. But there can be no doubt or argument that Democratic governance (read: liberal policies) is a catalyst that has spoiled this once-thriving metropolis.

Recently another controversy, and one that seems vaguely familiar, has thrown the city into a cauldron of intense agitation and unrest. One of the most often discussed and divisive issues plaguing the city for some time is the subway system. Incidents of harassment and violence committed predominantly by homeless men, most suffering from mental debilitation, have created a climate of uncertainty and fear.

Figures released by the New York City Police Department show for the year 2022 there were 88 deaths on the NYC subway system, and 27 of these were violent, committed by an assailant. Many of the victims were pushed by someone to their deaths in front of oncoming trains. According to the same report, crime on the subway has decreased for the year 2023, but one of the incidents that did occur has created a climate akin to that of the 2020 “summer of love,” and the George Floyd protests.

Meet Jordon Neely, a 30-year-old homeless black man with a history of over forty arrests, some of these being violent. In 2007 when he was 14 years old, his mother was murdered by his stepfather, and since then his life and mental state have deteriorated and spiraled out of control. Relatives of Jordon Neely attempted to get him help through the city’s Department of Homeless Services. He was a patient at Bellevue Hospital on several occasions, but in the end, the system failed him. He roamed the streets and the underground in filthy ragged clothes with no prospects for the here and now, or the future. 

On Monday, May 1 (2023), the Northbound F train arrived at the Broadway/Lafayette station. It was carrying passengers, most on their way to work, when suddenly a commotion erupted. As he entered one of the cars, according to witnesses, Jordon Neely began ranting and raving and throwing things at the passengers, most feeling threatened and in fear for their safety.

Meet Daniel Penny, 24-year-old decorated ex-Marine, who is white. At some point in the chaos that ensued, Penny approached Neely from behind and placed him in a chokehold, and some have insisted it was more a headlock. Penny brought Neely to the floor of the car, while two other passengers assisted restraining him. It has been determined that Penny exerted too much pressure, and kept his hold for too long. When First Responders Emergency Services arrived they attempted to assist Neely, but they could not revive him; sadly he succumbed. 

When word of the incident as well as a video taken at the scene of the confrontation were made public, the anarchists and leftist do-nothings filled the streets and subway system protesting and calling for the immediate arrest of Daniel Penny for murder. When taken into custody for questioning, Penny was released.

The city became divided between those calling for justice for Jordon Neely, and others calling Daniel Penny a hero. The rogue’s gallery of usual suspects emerged from out of their hovels, including politicians, activists, and the media, all demanding criminal charges and the arrest of Daniel Penny. Finally, after almost two weeks, the Manhattan District Attorney, the infamous Alvin Bragg, issued a warrant for his arrest.

On Thursday, May 11, an arrest warrant was issued by the District Attorney charging Daniel Penny with manslaughter in the second degree. The ex-Marine along with his lawyer appeared the next day in criminal court for arraignment. He was released on $100,000 bail, as a grand jury is assembled to hear the case.

There can be no doubt that the District Attorney succumbed to the pressure of the anti-Penny mob. But what makes this tragedy so frustrating and sad, is watching a bunch of self-righteous, indignant, and feckless people, hypocrites the lot of them. Protesting the tragedy of two young lives brought together in desperation and fear, one dead, the other life thrown into turmoil and an uncertain future. 

The death of Jordon Neely at the hands of Daniel Penny was tragic and unnecessary. But to have to watch reckless people out for blood, and consider that their comments could lead to disaster was shameful. What is most despicable about all this is that these same people have completely ignored the daily carnage on city streets across the nation that has taken the lives of innocent young people, mostly black. Where is all the outrage, and the marches and protests? 

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