(NewsNation) — The former Marine charged in the New York City subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely said it “had nothing to do with race” in a recent interview with the New York Post’s Dana Kennedy.
Kennedy joined “NewsNation Prime” on Sunday evening to discuss her conversation with Daniel Penny, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection to Neely’s death.
“I think he’s concerned about what a lot of his detractors say, like ‘He’s a white supremacist. He’s a murderer. He’s vigilante.’ He was very clear with me. He says he’s none of those things,” Kennedy said, in part.
She added: “He said, ‘I love all cultures. I love all people.’ He does not come across as somebody that had any kind of chip on his shoulder when it comes to race.”
Authorities say Penny placed Neely, who was yelling on the subway, in a chokehold. One witness said Neely was in the chokehold for about 15 minutes. Neely’s death has sparked outrage by some and support for Penny’s actions by others.
In his interview with Kennedy, Penny said he is “deeply saddened” by what happened and called Neely’s death “tragic.”
Kennedy said Penny told her that he rides subways in New York “all the time” and that this ride was “different than any other experience he ever had.”
“This is just my theory, but he (Penny) didn’t seem like somebody that really like lost it in the moment and you know, realizes he went too far. My take on it was something bad maybe really did happen on that subway,” Kennedy said.
Penny was charged nearly two weeks after Neely’s death. Hours after turning himself in, he was freed pending trial.