Daniel Penny Legal Defense Fund Raises Over 10 Times More Donations Than Jordan Neely Fund

Penny faces charges in the death of a New York homeless man who harassed subway riders

Daniel Penny turns himself in to police on Friday / Getty Images
May 15, 2023

A crowdfunding campaign for Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran who faces charges in the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was screaming threats at subway passengers, has raised over 10 times more money than a similar fund set up for Neely's family.

As of Monday morning, Penny's fund, set up by his lawyers through the website GiveSendGo, has raised $2,094,913. A fund by Neely's family through GoFundMe has raised $126,427.

"Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny's legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense," Penny's page reads. "Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny's legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program."

Penny was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree manslaughter in Neely's death. While on a Manhattan subway earlier this month, Neely started threatening and throwing garbage at passengers, shouting, "I'll hurt anyone on this train." Neely, who was reportedly schizophrenic, had a long history of crime, including a warrant out for his assault of a 67-year-old woman.

Penny and others restrained Neely, with Penny putting the homeless man in a headlock that killed him. While police originally released Penny, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg announced he would seek charges following a pressure campaign from left-wingers such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and race hustler Al Sharpton.

Penny voluntarily turned himself in to authorities on Friday.

The case has caused a racial firestorm in New York City, with protesters last week blocking subway tracks. Meanwhile, crime rates in the city are soaring, with 27 other people killed on the subway in the last three years and droves of police officers fleeing the force.

Left-wingers nevertheless used Neely's death to push anti-police policies, with Ocasio-Cortez blaming the tough-on-crime stances of New York City mayor Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat. While Adams said in a speech last week that Neely "did not deserve to die," he argued that the death underscores the need to institutionalize the severely mentally ill, a policy opposed by progressives.