Jordan Neely: Homeless man's family say Marine who put him in deadly chokehold felt 'entitled' to kill

·2-min read

A Marine veteran felt "entitled" to kill Jordan Neely on a New York subway train and has expressed no remorse, the homeless man's family has said.

On Friday, lawyers for 24-year-old Daniel J Penny said Mr Neely, 30, had been "aggressively threatening" him and other people using the F train in Manhattan on 1 May.

Video filmed by a freelance journalist and posted online showed Penny lying beneath Mr Neely, holding him in a headlock position for several minutes as he tried and failed to break free.

By the time police reached the train, he was unconscious and died at the scene.

Representatives for Mr Neely's family have responded, saying Penny had no regard for the black man's life.

"Daniel Penny's press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret," said the family's lawyers, Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards.

"It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan's life."

Penny's lawyers said Mr Neely had long suffered from mental illness and had a documented history of violent and erratic behaviour.

Witnesses on 1 May said the Michael Jackson impersonator had been shouting that he was hungry and ready to die before he was restrained by at least three other passengers.

But Mr Neely's family said Penny could not have known of his past struggles before he applied a chokehold.

"The truth is he knew nothing about Jordan's history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan's neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing," Mr Mills and Mr Edwards said.

"He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison."

Mr Penny, who was questioned by police and released, has not been charged.