Weighing in on NYC Subway Jordan Neely Strangulation Death

Before discussing Jordan Neely and Daniel Penny, it’s important to note that homelessness in New York City is worse than I have ever seen. It’s a problem that rests solely on the extreme left, who run New York City. Laws have been changed so that very few individuals who aren’t rapists or murderers spend time in prison or receive the mental health care they require. While on paper, bail reform might seem like a good idea, it leads to revolving door criminal justice. Criminals who commit assault and battery are back on the streets the same or next day. Police are discouraged from making arrests, because “what’s the point,” if DA’s refuse to prosecute? Starting with the murder of George Floyd, police have been demonized and the criminals considered to be victims of the system. All of this sets up increased tension and animosity which led to this tragic situation and will probably be repeated, as citizens grow weary of the failures of a system that’s supposed to protect them. People are fed up with being terrorized. I’m sure I’m not the only person who remembers Bernie Getz.

For years I rode the subway to work as many New Yorkers do, who travel from the outer boroughs. I also took it during the subway’s worst days in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when I ran cross country for my high school, to the last stop on the 1 train, Van Cortland Park. I witnessed a lot of crime, mostly necklace snatching and other non-violent crimes. Although I heard of many more serious crimes on the subway lines that I frequented. In those days there was graffiti everywhere. Subway cars and tunnels were filled with homeless and mentally unstable individuals sleeping across the bench seats with many aggressively panhandling. It was simply life as a New Yorker. But it was terrible! It was uncivilized and unacceptable. However, even people who are abused grow familiar, if not comfortable, with the abuse. It was simply part of the New York experience.

Then we elected a “real mayor”, one who recognized that victimless crimes aren’t actually victimless. Eight years of quality-of-life improvement as we battled through that terrible day, months and years, following 9-11. We continued that improvement with 12 more years of competent leadership. The city was never better than under the Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg administrations. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the city to return to those terrible years under a complete incompetent, terrible leader, and out of touch, Bill de Blasio. He was the worst NYC mayor and politician in my lifetime and did everything he could to return the city to its former misery. He led with the premise that misery loves company.

I must also point out the outcry from the family of Mr. Neely, and attorneys, now that they see a big payday in their future. Their disingenuous cries of outrage are nothing more than a sideshow. If they really were interested in seeking justice, Mr. Neely would have been receiving the care he needed prior to that day on the subway. Were not forty-four arrests enough to convince them that they needed to get help for their son? Of course, playing victim after the fact, has its advantages. New York City is notorious for big payouts, that will undoubtedly result from this case.

According to riders on the train, Mr. Neely was harassing individuals and saying things like he wanted to die. He was menacing people, as is often the case when taking the subway. It just so happened that on that day, marine veteran Daniel Penny, crossed paths with Neely. Most people are frightened, terrified of confrontation, sitting or standing with the heads down, hoping to avoid eye contact or an exchange of words. Obviously, Daniel Penny is not one of those people. Nor is he a hardened criminal or murderer. He certainly wasn’t on that train car, looking to injure or kill anyone. However, the fact remains that no matter how menacing Mr. Neely was, he would be alive today if he hadn’t been strangled by Mr. Penny. No one, unless truly at risk of being maimed or murdered, has the right to take someone else’s life. That’s why mentally unstable people need to be bodily removed from places where they have contact with innocent individuals.

As a 6th degree blackbelt in Jujitsu, I love strangulation techniques. They are highly effective at subduing someone with nefarious intentions. If I had been the person applying that strangulation technique, which is a variation of a Japanese strangle known as Hadaka Jime (naked arm strangle), Mr. Neely would not have expired, assuming he had no other health issues that contributed to his death. It’s because, I’m an expert, highly trained in the Martial Arts. My training experience far exceeds the age of Daniel Penny. I know how much pressure can be applied to someone’s throat without causing injury or death. Therein lies the problem for Daniel Penny. Once the threat was eliminated, as appeared to be the case, “defensive aggression” as I refer to it, needed to cease. It could always be reapplied, if necessary, but that wasn’t done in this case.

In order for Daniel Penny to prove his innocence, he must show that he was acting in defense of his life. That will be difficult to do based on the video evidence. No matter what state you’re in, you cannot simply take the law into your own hands and end someone’s life, regardless of what circumstance(s) precipitated the defense. For example, someone able to disarm a knife wielding assailant can’t just stab the attacker, unless the attacker remains an imminent threat. Once the defender is in control of the knife, he becomes the assailant if he chooses to use it, to stab the actual “bad guy.” Fearing for one’s safety, one’s very life, is the measure by which mortal, self-defense is measured. And that’s just one of the reasons for judges and juries.

But there’s another crucial consideration that needs to be addressed. People are growing tired of being victims. And when the government fails to guarantee the safety of its citizens, people will take matters into their own hands. That’s how vigilantes are born. New York City, which is a dark blue, liberal city, recently revamped its criminal justice system. The many police officers I’ve trained over the years, detest these changes because it makes their job far more difficult, if not impossible. They are all highly trained law enforcement professionals, who would never purposely injure or kill anyone in the line of duty. They simply want to help and protect, the citizens of New York. The changes, including a weakened DA’s office, unwilling to prosecute even more serious crimes, have proven to be a catastrophic failure. Criminals with long wrap sheets are no longer concerned with being incarcerated, so there’s no deterrent to committing crimes. As stated earlier, Mr. Needy was arrested forty-four times. At what point does someone run out of chances? At what point do innocent civilian’s lives take precedence over the perpetrators of those who harass and commit crimes? The New York Times ran an op ed that questioned whether people who steal an I-Phone or under $1,000 should ever be incarcerated? The answer is absolutely! Theft is a break in the social contract and therefore, that person should be locked up, and away from the rest of society; from those of us who accept that contract and play by the rules.

The people who live within the five boroughs of New York City, can only hope that Mayor Adams, with his law enforcement background, recognizes these issues and works his way back towards the center. Of course, hope is not a plan. If subway crime, including harassment is not addressed, I believe there will be more citizens fighting back against those who are terrorizing them. People can only live in fear for so long before they strike back. Daniel Penny’s actions may only be the beginning of what’s to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s