Reverend Al Sharpton has used the funeral of homeless man Jordan Neely to condemn ex-marine Daniel Penny who put the 30-year-old in a fatal chokehold earlier this month.
Hundreds gathered at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem with loved ones visibly devastated as they carried Neely into the place of worship in an ivory and gold casket ahead of the service.
Sharpton, an American Civil Rights activist, delivered a powerful eulogy and elicited chants from mourners who applauded him and said: ‘No Justice, no peace.’
‘When they choked Jordan they put their arms around all of us. All of us have a right to live,’ said Sharpton.
The proceedings started just after 11 am with a sermon and gospel music and were helmed by Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green – the same pastor who presided over Neely’s mother’s 2007 funeral lead the ceremony.
Several prominent Democratic politicians attended the funeral, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate, and Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado.
Reverend Al Sharpton has used the funeral of homeless man Jordan Neely to condemn the behavior of ex-marine Daniel Penny who put the 30-year-old in a fatal chokehold earlier this month
Hundreds gathered at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem with loved ones visibly devastated
Neely was carried into the place of worship in an ivory and gold casket ahead of the service
Neely had been threatening and throwing trash on the uptown F train in New York City before his death and had a lengthy criminal record for offenses including assault and disorderly conduct.
Sharpton said his behavior was a cry for help.
‘Jordan was not annoying anyone on the train. Jordan was screaming for help. We keep criminalizing people with mental illness. They don’t need abuse, they need help,’ he said.
‘We should not not celebrate Jordan’s life, but we should not forget how he died. We’re not here because of natural causes.’
Sharpton also took aim at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others who have characterized Penny as a ‘Good Samaritan’ and defended his actions.
‘A good Samaritan helps those in trouble, they don’t choke them out. What happened to Jordan was a crime and this family shouldn’t have to stand alone.’
Sharpton also condemned what he said was New York City’s failure to care for the homeless.
‘He’s been choked his whole life,’ Sharpton said, adding that ‘in your name, we’re going to change how they deal with the homeless’.
Neely had been threatening and throwing trash on the uptown F train in New York City before his death and had a lengthy criminal record for offenses including assault and disorderly conduct. Sharpton said his behavior was a cry for help
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was seen in attendance for Neely’s funeral she previously said Neely was murdered
The proceedings started just after 11 am with a sermon and gospel music and were helmed by the same pastor who presided over Neely’s mother’s 2007 funeral lead the ceremony
Neely’s family said he ‘experienced a mental health episode’ and that no rider asked what was wrong before Penny and two others restrained him.
Ahead of the funeral Neely’s aunt Mildred E.J.B. Mahazu called for justice as she remembered her nephew as ‘loved’ and ‘very friendly.’
‘Jordan was a very, very sweet person. He liked to be loved and he loved people. He was very, very friendly. He is a diamond in the ground,’ she said.
Mahazu said she’s ‘not a judge’ but believes Penny should be punished for the death of her beloved nephew.
‘I think Daniel penny, I think he should be punished. I’m not a judge. Why would you put your hand around someone’s neck and choke them, when you know he would die in less than two, three minutes. That means murder,’ she said.
‘As I still say I’m not a judge, but he needs to make some time for that. He don’t need to walk a free man.’
Penny, 24, an ex-Marine, handed himself in after Bragg’s office announced he would be charged with second degree manslaughter.
Neely, a 30-year-old homeless schizophrenic, had been threatening and throwing trash at passengers on the train, saying he did not mind going to prison or even dying.
Crowds gathered outside Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem for the funeral of subway ‘menace’ Jordan Neely who died after being put in a chokehold by ex-marine Daniel Penny
Mourners appeared devastated as they started to make their way in for the funeral proceedings with Reverend and American Civil Rights activist Al Sharpton (left) delivered a eulogy for Neely
Jordan Neely’s step sister (left) appeared devastated at his funeral
Penny approached him from behind and put him in the chokehold which reports say lasted up to 15 minutes. A video shows the other two men helping by holding Neely down.
The video shows an unidentified black man in a black jacket holding down Neely’s arms as he tried to fight to get out of Penny’s clutches.
Penny, meanwhile, had his arms wrapped around the man’s throat and over his head.
Soon, another white man, wearing a leather jacket and jeans with a black backpack, approached them.
He then knelt down and pushed down on Neely’s right shoulder in another effort to subdue the homeless man.
At one point, another passenger on the train was heard asking about the chokehold, to which the unnamed black man said Penny is ‘not squeezing’ Neely.
But the passenger offscreen says Neely may choke on his own spit, to which the black assailant and Penny agreed.
They then all released Neely and decided to turn him onto his side, but the homeless 30-year-old appeared to be limp and not moving.
Neely was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy ruled he died from ‘compression of neck (chokehold)’ and the medical examiner’s office determined his death to be a homicide – while pointing out that ‘that determination is not a ruling on intent or culpability, which is for the criminal justice system to consider’.
Daniel Penny, right, has been charged with manslaughter after placing homeless schizophrenic Jordan Neely a chokehold on May 1. But the two men who were seen helping him restrain Neely, 30, have not been charged
The man in a baseball cap and a black jacket and the man in a leather jacket, jeans and a black backpack have not been identified. Police sources revealed they now have a lead on the identity of one of the two men
Penny, 24, turned himself in last Friday after the District Attorney’s office announced he would be charged with second degree manslaughter
Penny is pictured being put in the back of a police car in handcuffs May 12
The lawyer for Marine veteran Daniel Penny who was filmed choking a ‘deranged’ man on a New York City subway says his client was ambushed by the charge against him
Initially Penny wasn’t charged but after protests – including Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez saying Neely was murdered and a New York state senator calling the death a ‘lynching’ Bragg put it to a grand jury and on May 12 charged him.
Penny handed himself in and was released on $100,000 bond. He is yet to enter a plea.
More than $2.55million has been raised on the conservative crowdsourcing site GiveSendGo to help with Penny’s defense.
Among those who have donated are Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and rock star Kid Rock.
‘The moral of the Jordan Neely story isn’t complicated: he was a habitual offender who should’ve been behind bars or in a mental institution, not free to terrorize New Yorkers,’ tweeted Ramaswamy, who gave $100,000..
‘If local police had been allowed to do their jobs, that man would still be alive today – in custody.’
Penny’s family and his legal team say he is being railroaded.
Attorney Steve Raiser told Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro that he had simply ‘wanted to help his fellow passengers.’
Penny’s cousin Justine Baldwin told the New York Post: ‘It’s disgusting. Here’s a young man who served our country.’
‘What about the other two gentlemen on the subway who were helping him? They haven’t even been named.’
But the reason they have not been named is because investigators do not know who they are, the sources said.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office for comment or to see if the other two men could face charges. The office has yet to respond.
Penny’s attorneys released a statement to DailyMail.com stating they are confident their client will be cleared in the ‘unforeseen and unintended’ death of Neely.
‘When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured,’ Penny’s lawyer Steve Raiser of Raiser & Kenniff stated.
Neely, a homeless man and Michael Jackson impersonator, had his mental health deteriorate drastically in recent years, according to his family
Penny had been deployed twice over four years of service with the Marines, where he rose to the rank of sergeant before he was honorable discharged in 2021
A GiveSendGo for Daniel Penny has reached more than $2.55 million as of Wednesday morning
‘He risked his own life and safety, for the good of his fellow passengers.
‘We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing,’ the law firm said in a statement.
Raiser told Pirro the legal team was shocked when Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced charges, despite having been allegedly told the process would be slow.
‘We were told that there was going to be a grand jury presentation and that would take some time.
‘It was going to be a very kind of deliberate process. It was not going to be rushed.
‘Then suddenly we got a call one night before Daniel’s to surrender,’ Raiser said. The lawyer’s interview comes just days after Penny turned himself in to prosecutors and hours after a fundraiser for the Marine soared to over $2million.
The veteran’s legal team also took aim at elected officials.
‘For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference,’ the lawyers said in a statement.
‘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,’ it concluded.