As previously reported by REVOLT, tensions have remained high in the wake of Jordan Neely’s death. The 30-year-old Black man was an unhoused street performer in New York who was killed last week by a white former Marine who choked him on the floor of a subway train for nearly 15 minutes because the victim allegedly yelled about being hungry and thirsty.

The attacker, identified as 24-year-old Daniel Penny, was questioned by police regarding the incident, but was never taken into custody. “Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. 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,” Penny shared on Friday (May 5) through legal counsel.

Although the Michael Jackson impersonator was unarmed and had not physically come into contact with anyone, Penny felt the need to restrict his breathing while pinning him to the ground for an extended amount of time. “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” the Marine’s statement added. Today (May 8), the 30-year-old’s family released one of their own. “Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret. It is a character assassination, and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan‘s life,” Neely’s family said in a joint release with their attorneys.

The letter continued, “The truth is, he knew nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan‘s neck and squeezed and kept squeezing.” Neely’s family said Penny “acted with indifference” and “needs to be in prison.” While he remains free, according to NBC 4 New York, on Saturday (May 6), around 13 people were arrested for subway protests in Neely’s name.