Republicans push resolution to ‘recognize and honor’ Daniel Penny for ‘heroism and courage’
EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee introduced a resolution Thursday to “recognize and honor” Daniel Penny – a military veteran charged with manslaughter – for his “heroism and courage” on a New York City subway train earlier this month.
The resolution aims to set the record straight about what happened this month, and it recognizes Penny’s heroism in stepping up to protect himself and other frightened passengers in the subway car.
Penny is charged with manslaughter in the May 1 chokehold death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man, aboard a subway train. Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran, was questioned by police that day and released, but cellphone video, which showed two other men holding Neely’s arms as Penny held Neely in a chokehold for several minutes, went viral online. A medical examiner later ruled Neely’s death a homicide, even though prosecutors noted Neely was yelling threats toward other subway passengers when Penny intervened.
Disturbed by the treatment received by Penny, Ogles, with assistance from other Republicans in the House, is making it clear where he stands on the issue.
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“The disgusting political abuse of power by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is an egregious assault on our justice system. On May 1, Daniel Penny took action to protect himself and innocent commuters on the F Train from an out-of-control individual,” Ogles, who has represented Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District since January, told Fox News Digital. “DA Bragg and the mainstream media were quick to jump to the defense of Jordan Neely, who had a record of 42 arrests, including three assaults on women riding the New York subway.”
“Instead of joining in with the full-throttled woke mob in unjustly demonizing Mr. Penny, I introduced a resolution to recognize and honor him for his heroism and courage,” Ogles added.
In agreement with Ogles, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told Fox that Penny – referred to by his critics as a “White supremacist” and a “vigilante” – is the ideal “American hero.”
“The world needs more men like Daniel Penny. He is exactly what an American hero looks like,” Greene said in a statement.
The resolution, according to its text, recognizes “Daniel Penny of West Islip, New York, for his heroism and courage in apprehending a threat to public safety.”
Neely, 30, was homeless and had more than 40 prior arrests, but his supporters have demanded Penny be charged with murder. Penny, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter and is free on $100,000 bond, spoke out for the first time Saturday, saying in a recent interview with the New York Post that his choice to step in had “nothing to do with race.”
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Penny said he was “deeply saddened” by Neely’s death and insisted it is “tragic what happened to him.”
“I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a White supremacist,” Penny said. “I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit comical. Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures.”
“Hopefully, we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us,” he added.
Penny told the Post that he was on his way to the gym when Neely entered his subway car on May 1. Neely, who reportedly suffered from mental illness, began yelling about going to jail and being hungry and tired.
Passengers have said Neely was yelling and acting erratically when Penny intervened by putting him in a chokehold. Penny’s lawyers have argued that the Marine veteran was trying to defend himself and passengers by restraining Neely.
Authorities are still determining to what extent Neely was threatening the train’s passengers. Freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, who filmed the incident, said Neely was yelling and threw his jacket to the ground, but that he did not physically attack anyone.
But an eyewitness told Fox News Digital that Penny was a “hero” and recalled that Neely was using words like “kill” and “bullet” when he was yelling.
“It was self-defense, and I believe in my heart that [Penny] saved a lot of people that day that could have gotten hurt,” the retiree told Fox News Digital.
The 24-year-old veteran told the Post that he did not regret the encounter and did not feel ashamed.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Andrea Vacchiano, and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this article.