Daniel Penny to be arraigned Wednesday in subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely

Subway Chokehold Death
FILE – Daniel Penny, center, is walked by New York Police Department detectives out of the 5th Precinct, May 12, 2023, in New York. Penny, the man charged with manslaughter for putting an agitated New York City subway rider in a fatal chokehold, will be arraigned Wednesday in the fatal chokehold of a man who was behaving erratically on a New York City subway train. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. Marine veteran will be arraigned Wednesday in the fatal chokehold of a man who was behaving erratically on a New York City subway train.

Daniel Penny, 24, was initially charged with second-degree manslaughter in the May 1 death of Jordan Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator who was shouting and begging for money when Penny pinned him to the floor of the moving subway car with the help of two other passengers and held him in a chokehold for more than three minutes.

Neely, 30, lost consciousness during the struggle and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A grand jury voted to indict Penny earlier this month, according to a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who added that updated charges would be unveiled at Wednesday’s arraignment.

Penny, who served for four years in the Marines and was discharged in 2021, has said he acted to protect himself and others from Neely, who shouted “I’m gonna’ kill you” and said he was “ready to die” or go to jail for life.

“He was yelling in their faces saying these threats,” Penny said in a video released by his attorneys. “I just couldn’t sit still.”

Neely’s family members and their supporters have said Neely, who struggled with mental illness and homelessness, was crying out for help and was met with violence.

“What happened to Jordan was a crime and this family shouldn’t have to stand by themselves,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said at Neely’s May 19 funeral.

Neely’s death aboard an F train in Manhattan quickly became a flashpoint in the nation’s debates over racial justice and crime, with Republican politicians including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hailing Penny as a hero while Sharpton and others compared the death of Neely, who was Black, at the hands of Penny, who is white, to the 1984 subway shooting of four Black men by Bernhard Goetz, a white man dubbed the “subway vigilante” who was eventually acquitted of charges in the shooting except for carrying an unlicensed gun.