Republican presidential candidates line up to support Daniel Penny

  • Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and other Republicans are rallying around Daniel Penny.
  • Prosecutors have charged Penny with manslaughter after killing Jordan Neely on the New York City subway in April.
  • The support for Penny is reminiscent of support for Kyle Rittenhouse ahead of the 2020 election.

Some conservatives love a vigilante mascot, and they seem to have found their new poster boy in Daniel Penny.

Republican 2024 presidential candidates are lining up to back Penny, a 24-year-old retired sailor who put 30-year-old homeless Jordan Neely in a chokehold on the New York City subway that left him finally killed. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged Penny with manslaughter on May 12 after a medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide.

Penny’s lawyers said he was acting in self-defense and “could not have foreseen” Neely’s “untimely death”. Witnesses to the incident said Neely was agitated, he never touched anyone on the train.

A former prosecutor called the murder an example of the kind of “vigilante justice” that is going on in the United States.

Republicans call it an act of “bravery.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his 2024 candidacy next week, urged his supporters to donate to Penny’s legal fundraiser to show him “America stands behind him.” That fundraiser, set up by Penny’s attorneys, has now topped $2.6 million. The backing notes say “Penny’s bravery should be rewarded”.

Former UN ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley echoed those thoughts, calling on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to pardon Penny. Another contestant, Vivek Ramaswamy, donated $10,000 to Penny’s fundraiser, the Associated Press reported.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, for his part, said Penny “was in grave danger and the other people in the car were in grave danger,” according to The Associated Press.

Support for Penny recalls support for Kyle Rittenhouse ahead of the 2020 election. The right propelled Rittenhouse – who was acquitted of all criminal charges after killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin amid civil unrest in 2020 – fame, earning invitations to speak on Fox News and major conservative conferences.


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