The family of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who died after being placed in a chokehold aboard a New York City subway train in May, plan to sue the man accused of his death.
According to a letter obtained by The New York Post, Neely’s aunt Carolyn Neely, who represents Jordan’s estate, has hired the Manhattan law firm of Mills & Edwards to file a civil action against Daniel Penny.
“Please be advised that this office has been retained . . . to pursue a claim for personal injuries and wrongful death. . . .Your action resulted in the death of Jordan Neely,” reads the letter sent to Penny’s attorneys.
Penny, a white man, was seen in a May 1st video widely shared online, holding Neely, a Black man, in a chokehold on the train. According to witnesses, Neely yelled about hunger and thirst before Penny put him in the chokehold. Penny surrendered to police on May 12 to face a manslaughter charge concerning Neely’s death. He was released on $100,000 bail.
A defense fund set up by Penny’s attorneys has raised more than $2.8 million dollars on the crowdfunding website GiveSendGo.
“Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense,” reads the donation page for Penny.
The attorneys also said additional funds will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City. Penny told the New York Post following his arrest that the incident “had nothing to do with race” and that he was not a white supremacist.