The co-host of the daytime talk show The View, Sunny Hostin, has said that bringing up the criminal record of Jordan Neely, who died after being restrained on a subway train in New York City, is “revictimizing” him. Hostin argues that Neely’s mental health issues stemmed from the fact that he witnessed his mother being murdered when he was only 14 years old. She also stated that when Neely was last arrested, he was sentenced to live in a Bronx treatment facility for 15 months, whereby he had to take his medication and stay clean. On May 1, Neely died after being forcefully restrained by a young man named Daniel Penny, a Marine Corps veteran who was attempting to protect fellow passengers. New York City’s medical examiner’s office has since classified Neely’s death as homicide.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) May 9, 2023
Jordan Neely had been arrested more than 40 times before his death and was also wanted by police at the time of the incident. He had reportedly acted aggressively towards fellow passengers, leading to the intervention of Penny and others. Hostin questions why no one on the train tried to help Neely, rather than allowing a retired Marine Corps veteran to take matters into his own hands. Neely’s family has stated that Penny deserves to be imprisoned for his actions, and some city residents agree. Protesters have taken to the streets to demand Penny’s arrest, and 11 individuals were arrested in protests over the weekend and early this week.
Hostin’s concerns regarding the victimization of Jordan Neely are legitimate, but it is important to take the perpetrator’s record into account. Clearly, Daniel Penny was justified in intervening to protect his fellow passengers from an individual who had demonstrated violent tendencies in the past. While it is deplorable that Neely was suffering from mental illness, one cannot overlook the fact that he was responsible for more than forty crimes and was wanted by the police at the time of his death. It is understandable that Penny felt he had to take matters into his own hands as the other passengers did nothing to protect themselves or others. The protests calling for Penny to be jailed are unwarranted, but they are indicative of the current climate where those who take matters into their own hands are unfairly demonized and persecuted.