Reckless politicians and more than a few of their media allies are apparently eager to create another summer of riots.
Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man, was killed last week on the New York subway F train by an active-duty, 24-year-old Marine who reportedly restrained him by the neck for several minutes. There are conflicting reports about how long Neely was restrained: One witness said 15 minutes, but that seems highly unlikely given the distance between stops.
Shortly after the Marine, Daniel Penny, released Neely, the homeless man stopped breathing. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office hasn’t pressed charges as of this story’s publication, but a grand jury could be called on this week to decide if the Marine is to be indicted.
Neely was black and Penny is white.
It didn’t take long before “the squad,” as a group of liberal House lawmakers has been dubbed, got ahold of the story, and soberly explained that the situation on the subway was complicated and it would wait for facts before casting judgment.
Just kidding. The squad did exactly what you would expect. It immediately rushed to social media to ensure that the story fit the Narrative, declared the Marine a murderer, and insisted that Neely was killed because of racism. This was set up to be George Floyd 2.0 and a new summer of riots.
In New York, the unrest is already beginning.
On Saturday night, a mob of protesters climbed down to the tracks on the Q train line at the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station. It disrupted the trains and was charged with various crimes, including assault.
The story is getting a lot of massaging from the media, where headlines describe Neely in the best possible light. He was a beloved street performer—a Michael Jackson impersonator—from a family of musicians, a little down on his luck because of a rough childhood.
This from USA Today:
As the details emerge, it’s quite clear that Neely wasn’t just a beloved subway moonwalker bringing joy and happiness to commuters before being lynched by a hateful white supremacist.
The New York Times noted that Neely had racked up dozens of arrests in recent years while exhibiting bizarre and dangerous behaviors after he began taking K2, which is synthetic marijuana. Neely had been arrested for, among other things, punching a 67-year-old woman in the face and allegedly attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old he was found dragging down the street.
In the case where he punched the woman coming out of an East Village subway stop he “pleaded guilty and received an alternative-to-incarceration program that let him dodge jail,” according to Fox News. The felony assault charge would have been reduced to a misdemeanor had he done the program, but Neely “skipped a compliance court date, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Feb. 22.”
In the case of the 7-year-old, Neely “pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to four months in jail,” per the New York Daily News.
According to reports, Neely had made the city’s “top 50” list of homeless people who were at risk and a danger to themselves and others.
So, this was a man with a history of dangerous and violent behavior.
Before Penny restrained Neely on the subway, Neely was allegedly yelling, “I don’t care if I die. I don’t care if I go to jail. I don’t have any food … I’m done.”
Penny couldn’t have known about Neely’s past behavior, of course, but his current behavior was disturbing enough that Penny and two other men—one of whom was not white—felt like they should restrain him.
“Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness,” a statement by Penny’s lawyer reads. “When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
On Monday, Neely’s family released a statement lashing out at the Marine who killed him.
“Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret,” their statement read. “It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan’s life.”
They said Penny acted with “indifference” toward Neely and “never attempted to help him at all.”
What was Penny supposed to do? Where were these people when Neely was out on the streets, taking drugs and acting like a lunatic? Talk about indifference.
Following Neely’s death, the head of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that riders should find a way to “deescalate” to prevent violence. Most try to, but that’s not always possible when dealing with somebody high on drugs, mentally ill, or both.
I live in New York and travel frequently on the F line. Run-ins with street people exhibiting bizarre and vaguely threatening behavior aren’t uncommon and they seem to be increasing.
When you ride the subway, people waiting for their train frequently put their backs to the wall or to beams so they don’t get blindsided and shoved on the tracks.
If something bad happens, I pray that someone like Penny is around to help deal with the situation. Even a strong, young man might have difficulty dealing with a deranged person on drugs if they turn physical and violent.
I don’t want to live in a society in which good men who act in those situations are ruthlessly and maliciously punished, where you are only rewarded for being a coward or a victim.
It’s tragic that Neely died, but from what we know now, there was no racial component to this incident and he wasn’t killed by racism.
Repeat offenders like Neely should either be in jail or in an institution caring for those with mental illness. Given his past behavior, Neely shouldn’t have been on that train. Penny should have never been put in the position of having to make a snap judgment to restrain him or potentially risk his own life and the lives of other passengers.
If Penny is actually charged, let’s hope the jury will get all the facts and make the right call. Mobs don’t decide who is guilty and who isn’t, at least not yet.
The world that left-wing cultural revolutionaries in the squad and the protesters in the subway would create is one in which the Neelys of the world die on the street in a drug-induced stupor, cities remain in a perpetual state of unrest, and the Pennys of the world do nothing.
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