The District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, New York, did he know that it will charge with manslaughter (i.e. unintentional) the man who almost two weeks ago attacked another man in the New York subway, suffocating him. The man accused of murder is called Daniel Penny, is 24 years old and is a former member of the US Navy. The victim, on the other hand, was thirty years old, his name was Jordan Neely, he had no fixed abode and in the past he had performed on the street as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Neely’s assault and death were captured by a journalist who happened to be there in a later leaked video that shows Penny wrapping her arm around Neely’s neck for at least four minutes while another two men helped hold him down. Penny was initially stopped by the police, questioned and then released.
The episode provoked protests and statements by politicians and activists who raised the problem of the lack of protection and assistance for frail, homeless people with mental health problems living in New York. Before the attack, witnesses said Neely was yelling at other passengers in the car. Penny’s lawyers released a statement saying their client “never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death” and that they are confident he will be fully acquitted.