Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been an outspoken supporter of Daniel Penny, the ex-Marine charged with manslaughter for the death of Jordan Neely earlier this month. He used his platform to highlight a fundraiser for Penny’s legal defense, which has racked up nearly $2.5 million and counting.
Today (May 16), DeSantis defended his support of Penny and expressed his desire to see the case against him dropped. The potential 2024 presidential candidate is a veteran himself and justified his actions by holding the Thin Green Line.
“Vets look out for other vets,” he said during a press conference this morning, per Business Insider. “What we can’t have in our society is inmates running the asylum. And what you saw in the subway was you saw a guy that was very dangerous, he was putting people in harm’s way, he was boasting that he may do harm, and I think to be able to step in as a good Samaritan and protect people, I think that’s something that was the right thing to do.”
“I don’t think [Penny] should be prosecuted,” he continued. “So hopefully, with him being able to raise all this money, he’s going to be able to beat this case. I hope the charges are dropped, but if they’re not, I think he’s going to be able to win in the end.” Check out the clip below.
Penny placed Neely in a fatal chokehold on a New York City subway on May 1. The former military man’s legal team defended their client’s actions as they claimed Neely was putting subway riders’ lives at risk. After Penny’s arrest last week, the Neely family criticized the decision to charge the man with manslaughter instead of murder.
Penny faces up to 15 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter. He was released from jail after his parents guaranteed his $100,000 bond.