Criminal law

Persecuted New Yorkers have the right to self-defense


“This is an amazing opportunity to turn things around, and we are excited to offer it to you,” Mary Weissgerber, Assistant District Attorney for the District of New York (Manhattan), naively told the late Jordan Neely in court on February 9, 2023. On this date, Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man with severe mental illness who reported substance abuse, learned that he would not be sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to his brutal assault in November 2021 of a 67-year-old woman in a home. Lower East Side Street. Neely had punched the woman so hard that she caused extensive facial damage, including a broken nose. Instead, despite more than 40 previous arrests, including at least three for assault, he was ordered to spend 15 months in a public mental health facility, take prescribed medication, and avoid drug use.

Neely agreed with the presiding judge, Ellen N. Pippin, though, says his “goal” is to pass this non-punitive program. However, after just 13 days, he escaped from the facility, prompting Judge Pepin to issue an arrest warrant. Over the subsequent weeks, New York City outreach officials and police officers publicly confronted Neely three times but did not return him to any form of detention. On one such occasion, Nellie dropped his pants and urinated in front of them.

On the afternoon of May 1, as he rode the subway through fashionable lower Manhattan, Neely informed his fellow passengers that he would kill any of them, throw them out of the subway car, and do so without any regard for his own life. According to eyewitnesses, a 24-year-old former US Marine sergeant named Daniel J. Penny restrains Indigo in a chokehold, a technique regularly taught in Marine Corps basic training, until law enforcement arrives. Neely fought back so hard that two other passengers had to help Benny arrest Neely, while others recorded the scuffle. Although Benny, through legal counsel, denied any intent of harm and released Neely when first responders arrived, Neely later died in hospital.

Under New York criminal law, threats to Nellie appear to constitute a threat, an arrest warrant for threatening physical harm in the absence of physical contact. The intervention of Benny and the other passengers, however tragic the results, seemed justified Section 35 of the New York State Penal Code, which permits the use of force if there is a reasonable belief that physical harm to oneself or others may be imminent – for example, if someone threatens to kill you and others in a public place. Accordingly, the police released Benny after questioning her. He has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime.

People's Assembly a "1" Subway line
People board a Line 1 subway train at Columbus Circle – 59th Street station on March 27, 2023, in New York City.
Gary Hirschhorn/Getty Images

But the deciding factor is that Nellie was black and Penny was white. Even before the facts were established, the social justice warriors got down to business. representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took over almost immediately Twitter to declare Penny’s actions “murder”. New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul called for “consequences” and “justice” and the allocation of $ 1 billion in state budget funds for mental health spending. Manhattan Borough President, Mark D. Levine, that Neely “always made people smile” and declared morally “our broken mental health system let him down,” rather than the dozens of bad choices that led to Neely’s more than 40 arrests and eventual predicament in a lethal suffocation. Run by a man who threatened him physically. Many others called for Benny’s arrest and blamed Neely’s death on “systemic racism,” “lynchings,” and “white vigilantes”—progressive men who seem to never disappear no matter how many of them. Democrats They get elected and re-elected to public office, no matter how much money is cut from urban police budgets, and no matter how lax the criminal justice systems in blue states are in prosecuting crimes committed by people of color (when they prosecute them at all).

On Saturday, protesters blocked a Manhattan subway station, “occupying” its tracks, physically preventing commuters from leaving an oncoming train, and assaulting police officers as they chanted “No justice, no peace.” The Black Lives Matter movement The demonstrators threatened to “tear down the city” unless Benny was arrested. Two days later, Nellie’s candlelight vigil turned violent. New York City leaders who demanded calm and due process, including Mayor Eric Adams — the former police captain who criticized attempts to call Penny a murderer — were denounced by protesters, who marched through the streets of Manhattan chanting, “F*** Eric Adams.” “

according to ABCNew York City Corporation’s Alvin Bragg, the New York District Attorney, is soon expected to call a grand jury to evaluate criminal charges against Penny. This is consistent with Bragg’s July 2022 decision to charge New York City bodega worker Jose Alba with second-degree murder after he used a knife to defend himself against an assailant at his workplace—a charge that Bragg’s office only dropped under significant political pressure. Notably, this is the same Alvin Bragg who last month filed dubious criminal charges against former President Donald J. Trump in a case that a large majority of Americans believe to be politically motivated.

Pursuing charges against Penny would also complement Adams’ last attempts to thwart A.J 2022 US Supreme Court ruling Requiring New York to allow concealed carry of weapons – a policy that has been linked to lower crime in other jurisdictions. These jurisdictions include Florida, where crime rates are at their lowest in 50 years, where hundreds of thousands of crime-tired New Yorkers have moved elsewhere in what is arguably the largest outmigration in their state’s previous history, and where recently signed legislation now allows Carry concealed baggage without a handgun permit.

But the message from the progressive left is clear: If you’re a New Yorker, especially a white New Yorker, you have no right to self-defense. In addition to Gotham’s many other shortcomings, the only lesson its terrified residents can take from Daniel Penny’s potential fate is that they must agree to be harmed or feel the greater burden of the law. There will be no other way for racial justice.

Paul de Quinoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.


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