Daniel Penny, the ex-Marine who choked homeless subway rider Jordan Neely to death earlier this month on a NYC train, insisted in an interview with the New York Post that he is not racist and was planning a trip to Africa.
“This had nothing to do with race,” Penny told The Post in his first interview since the May 1 incident. “I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist.”
“It’s a little bit comical,” he continued. “Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures. You can tell by my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened.”
Video of the fatal incident shows Penny with his arm wrapped around Neely’s neck for several minutes, even after he became unconscious.
Witnesses told police that Neely, who has a documented mental health history, began yelling on the train that he was hungry, thirsty and had little to live for. They also observed Neely making threats but not to Penny or anyone in particular before the ex-Marine intervened, ABC News reported.
Penny could not go into much detail about the events that took place that day because the case is still pending, but he told The Post that it wasn’t like “anything I’d experienced before.”
He said he was “deeply saddened” by Neely’s “tragic” death, adding, “hopefully we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”
Asked if he was ashamed of anything he did, Penny said he was not and indicated that he would do the same thing again in a similar situation.
“I always do what I think is right,” he said.