Team member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for calling Marine Daniel Penny a good Samaritan.
The woke congresswoman suggested the presidential hopeful “read the Bible” as she left the funeral service for 30-year-old homeless Jordan Neely on Saturday.
Penny, 24, was filmed putting Neely in a chokehold after Neely threatened people on a New York City subway on May 1.
He is charged with second-degree manslaughter and faces up to 15 years in prison.
But some, including the governor of Florida, have come to Penny’s defense, saying he was simply trying to protect others.
Woke Congresswoman AOC slammed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for remarks defending Navy vet Daniel Penny as she left Jordan Neely’s funeral on Saturday
DeSantis – who is expected to announce his presidential run next week – called Penny a ‘good Samaritan’
Penny, 24, was filmed putting Neely in a chokehold after threatening people on a New York subway on May 1
Speaking about the incident at a press conference on Tuesday, Ron DeSantis praised Penny for doing the “right thing” as he touted Navy military service.
“Vets pay attention to vets,” said DeSantis – who is expected to announce his presidential campaign next week. “What we can’t have in our society are inmates running the asylum.”
He then called Penny a “good Samaritan”.
“What you saw on the subway is that you saw a very dangerous guy. He put people in danger. He bragged that he could do harm,’ DeSantis said.
“And I think being able to step in as a good Samaritan and protect people – I think that’s something that was the right thing to do.” And I don’t think he should be prosecuted.
DeSantis also criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for bringing charges against Penny.
“I think you have a prosecutor there who sides with the criminal element at the expense of law-abiding citizens, and when people have the temerity to retaliate against the criminal element, he prosecutes them.
“I think the charges are going to be dropped,” DeSantis continued, “but if not, I think he can win in the end.”
But when asked by an unidentified reporter on Saturday about her comments calling Penny a good Samaritan, the New York Congresswoman AOC said, “I think he should read a Bible.”
In the Christian Bible, the parable of the Good Samaritan tells of a traveler who is stripped of his clothes, beaten and left half dead by the side of the road.
At first, a Jewish priest and a Levite pass by the traveler – thought to be Jewish – without helping him.
Finally, a Samaritan passes by and helps the traveler, despite the mistrust of the Samaritans and the Jews of the time.
The term “good Samaritan” has since become established for anyone who helps a stranger.
Penny faces 15 years in prison for putting 30-year-old Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold
AOC’s remarks came moments after the Reverend Al Sharpton claimed Penny was a killer during a eulogy for Neely.
He too took aim at DeSantis’ comments saying: ‘A good Samaritan helps those who have problems, they don’t suffocate them.
“What happened to Jordan was a crime and this family should not be alone.”
Sharpton also condemned what he called New York City’s failure to care for the homeless.
“He’s been suffocated his whole life,” Sharpton said, claiming Neely’s threats that day were a “call for help.”
Neely had threatened and thrown trash on the F train in downtown New York before his death and had a long criminal record for offenses including assault and disorderly conduct.
“Jordan didn’t bother anyone on the train. Jordan was screaming for help. We continue to criminalize people with mental illness. They don’t need abuse, they need help,” he said.
“We shouldn’t celebrate Jordan’s life, but we shouldn’t forget how he died. We are not here because of natural causes.
Reverend Al Sharpton used Neely’s funeral to condemn Penny’s behavior, saying Neely was just ‘crying for help’
Neely had threatened and thrown trash on the F train in downtown New York before his death and had a lengthy criminal record for offenses including assault and disorderly conduct.
But Neely had a long case sheet for crimes on the subway, including vicious assaults on other passengers.
In 2021 he attacked an elderly woman as she left Bowery Station in the East Village. She suffered a broken nose, a fractured orbital bone and “bruising, swelling and significant pain in the back of her head” during the Nov. 12 attack, according to a criminal complaint.
He admitted to being assaulted on February 9 in exchange for a 15-month alternative program to incarceration, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
He was supposed to stay in a treatment center and stay sober.
Between January 2020 and August 2021, he was arrested for public obscenity after pulling down his pants and exposing himself to a woman, misdemeanor assault for punching a woman in the face, and criminal contempt for violating a restraining order.
All three cases were dismissed as part of his Feb. 9 plea deal, according to Fox News.
In June 2019, Neely assaulted Filemon Castillo Baltazar, 68, on the platform of the W. 4th St. station in Greenwich Village, according to court records.
“Out of nowhere, he punched me in the face,” the victim told the New York Daily News. He said he saw Neely before the attack rummaging through trash cans for food.
A month earlier, Neely punched a man in the face, breaking his nose on the Broadway-Lafayette platform – the same subway station where he died.
For both 2019 cases, he pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Neely’s family said he “had an episode of mental health” and no runner asked what was wrong before Penny and two others held him down.
Neely’s aunt and father say he was hard to pin down because he was homeless. Neely’s criminal record included 42 arrests, including for assaulting people on the subway
A woman on the subway that day described how she was reading a book when she heard Neely start screaming.
‘He said, ‘I don’t care if I have to kill an f, I will. I’ll go to jail, I’ll take a bullet.’ I look at where we are on the subway, in the sardine tin, and I’m like, “OK, we’re between stations. There’s nowhere we can go.”
She said FoxNews that Penny was just acting in ‘self defense, and I believe in my heart that he saved a lot of people that day who could have been hurt.
“Nobody wants to kill anybody,” she said. Mr. Penny didn’t want to kill this man. It took three men to restrain Mr. Neely. He was struggling.
The woman, who described herself as a “woman of color”, also said race had nothing to do with what happened on the train.
“It’s not about race. It’s about people of all colors who were very, very scared and a man who stepped in to help them.
“Race is used to divide us.”
She said New York – a city she has lived in for 50 years – is starting to look like a “third world country”.
“I miss the city under Giuliani’s law and order. When it comes to exposing people or subjecting them to violent behavior, the people in power who are supposed to protect us are not.