Conservative Help Surges for Daniel Penny After Killing of Jordan Neely


Little is thought concerning the political beliefs of Daniel Penny, the ex-Marine charged with fatally choking Jordan Neely on a New York Metropolis subway.

However since Mr. Penny’s arrest on Friday on second-degree manslaughter expenses, he has been rapidly embraced by right-wing political figures and teams.

A marketing campaign to lift cash for his authorized protection — arrange on GiveSendGo, a self-described Christian crowdfunding website that was additionally used to lift funds for a few of these arrested within the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — had raised greater than $1.8 million as of Sunday evening.

In urging his followers to donate to the fund, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a probable Republican presidential candidate, in contrast Mr. Penny to the nice Samaritan, a biblical determine who involves the help of a person who has been overwhelmed, stripped of his garments and left on the facet of the highway.

“Let’s present this Marine… America’s acquired his again,” he said on Twitter on Friday.

Consultant Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, referred to as Mr. Penny a “Subway Superman.”

Different right-wing commentators have additionally rallied to Mr. Penny’s facet, together with Charlie Kirk, who runs Turning Level USA, a conservative pupil group, and Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump.

The groundswell of assist from the fitting is a stark distinction to the response on the left after the killing of Mr. Neely, 30, on Might 1. Protesters referred to as for Mr. Penny’s arrest. Political figures together with Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, mentioned Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district lawyer, should have charged Mr. Penny immediately.

The Republican assist for Mr. Penny, 24, who grew up on Lengthy Island and whose most up-to-date New York voter registration, from 2016, lists his get together affiliation as Conservative, adopted a sample of response to previous incidents, in line with political analysts.

Conservative commentators additionally hailed as a hero Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old from Antioch, In poor health., who shot three males, two of them fatally, throughout demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis., in 2020. Mr. Trump met with him after he was acquitted of homicide expenses and referred to as him “a nice young man.”

Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has mentioned he plans to pardon Daniel Perry, an Military sergeant who was sentenced to 25 years in jail earlier this month for fatally capturing an armed man throughout a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin.

Like these males, Mr. Penny has grow to be symbolic of a “macho” and “powerful, take-action, hold-your-ground” ethos that appeals to a conservative section of the nation, mentioned Douglas Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch Faculty.

Noting that many details concerning the chokehold case stay unclear, together with what occurred earlier than Mr. Penny grabbed Mr. Neely, Mr. Muzzio mentioned, “It doesn’t matter what he did or what he felt or what he believed.”

The cost towards Mr. Penny “happens in an environment of maximum polarization and racial polarization,” Mr. Muzzio mentioned. “It’s symptomatic of our occasions — the break up between pink and blue, the break up between Black and white — and it resonates with some deep-seated realities of American politics.”

Moments earlier than he posted his assist of Mr. Penny on Twitter, Mr. DeSantis, throughout a go to to Peoria, In poor health., took a shot at Mr. Bragg — voicing his disdain for prosecutors who’re supported by “folks like George Soros,” referring to the liberal billionaire and Democratic donor who’s a frequent goal of right-wing assaults, a few of which use veiled antisemitic tropes.

Jumaane Williams, New York’s public advocate, mentioned Mr. DeSantis’s criticism adopted a right-wing playbook to attract political assist by spreading concern “no matter what the details say.”

“If the violence will be linked to Black folks or individuals who have melanated pores and skin, they go even tougher,” he mentioned.

The reward of Mr. Penny is “miserable,” mentioned Gabriel Murphy, an engineer who served within the Marines from 2006 to 2010 and who soon after Mr. Neely’s death began a petition calling for charges against Mr. Penny, saying he had misused the chokehold.

He mentioned folks have an image of the army of their minds. “They’re cheering on that psychological image — that each Marine is a bloodthirsty killer who’s ready to enact righteous violence,” Mr. Murphy mentioned in an interview.

However Marines are skilled to make use of a chokehold on enemy combatants and to cease utilizing such drive as soon as their adversary loses consciousness, he mentioned. A four-minute video that recorded the chokehold confirmed Mr. Penny hanging on tight to Mr. Neely 50 seconds after he went limp.

“I don’t assume what he did was OK, and I don’t assume it’s in keeping with something the Marine Corps teaches,” Mr. Murphy mentioned.

The fund for Mr. Penny’s authorized charges was organized by his legal professionals, together with Thomas Kenniff, who ran as a Republican towards Mr. Bragg in 2021. Mr. Penny’s legal professionals weren’t instantly accessible for touch upon Sunday.

One nameless donor gave $10,000 with a observe saying, “thanks for shielding the residents that day.”

On Sunday, a fund arrange by Mr. Neely’s household to assist pay for funeral prices had raised just a little greater than $116,000.

Nicholas Nehamas contributed reporting.


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