Attorneys for Daniel Penny, the ex-Marine who was captured on video putting Jordan Neely in a deadly chokehold on a New York City subway train, released a statement saying their client acted to protect himself and other passengers and never intended to harm him.
“Mr Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness,” Penny’s attorneys said in a statement, according to The Independent.
“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,” the statement says.
”For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways,” the attorneys added.
Video footage of the fatal incident shows Penny with his arm wrapped around Neely’s neck for several minutes until he became unconscious. Neely was pronounced dead at Lenox Health Greenwich Village hospital.
The medical examiner’s office has ruled Neely’s death a homicide, but no charges have been filed.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is expected to present the case to a grand jury for its consideration of possible charges, NBC News reported.