Daniel Penny, Subway Marine Choke Hold Guy, Is A Disgrace To The Marine Corps, From A US Marine
While ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN all had panel discussions focused strictly on presidential politics on the Sunday shows, "Fox News Sunday" veered into a topic that shouldn't be political but the rightwing is going to make it: the murder of Jordan Neely at the hands of Marine vet Daniel Penny.
According to reporting from CNN, Penny applied a rear naked choke to Neely. That report also says Daniel Penny wrestled and had Jordan Neely in the choke for seven minutes. The video that was recorded by fellow passenger Juan Alberto Vazquez shows the death of Jordan Neely with the exception the initial three to four minutes of the choke.
After laying out the latest development and playing a clip of the Neely family's attorney Donte Mills, "Fox News Sunday" host Shannon Bream turned it over to her panel where syndicated conservative radio clown Cal Thomas rushed to spit out dog whistles and defend an (alleged) murderer.
\u201cFox News Sunday panel tried really hard to stack the deck against the victim instead of the murderer.\u201d— M3Writer (@M3Writer) 1684162688
THOMAS: Yes, well, that never stops anybody from speculating. You have the RINO, Al Sharpton, reverend in name only, out there. [...] This was a man, clearly, as you indicated, who had mental troubles. He has a history of harassing, especially women, on the subways. And it's interesting though that the crowdfunding amount of money now has exceeded $1 million for his [Daniel Penny's] defense.
There is nothing "interesting" about a man who kills a Black person (or, in a separate case, a man who kills someone protesting on behalf of Black people) being funded and defended by rightwing scumbags. Even those who pretend to "serve and protect" while endorsing violence perpetrated against Americans.
But this has been a political escalation of violence in the rightwing circles for years. Whether it's George Zimmerman or Kyle Rittenhouse or Daniel Perry or now Daniel Penny (yes, it's confusing), conservatives get a vicarious thrill from being able to see people they hate murdered in the name of "self-defense." Ron DeSantis, who tweeted in support of Penny and called him a "Good Samaritan" (last we checked, the biblical Samaritan didn't kill anyone), also passed laws to make it easier to kill protesters in light of Rittenhouse's case.
Cal Thomas, not satisfied enough, tried to invoke Penny's former service as some shield for his actions.
THOMAS: A United States Marine veteran against a guy who had serious behavioral and mental problems, with a history of harassing women, and 40 other charges against him. And Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, who likes diminishing felony charges to misdemeanors. I think the Marine has got everything on his side, even with a New York jury.
Thomas isn't the only one to use Penny's service to shield him from accountability.
\u201cDaniel Penny\u2019s next court date is July 17. If the #Marine vets (all vets, really) of the local VFWs, American Legions, etc in the NYC area can\u2019t even show up in solidarity at that courthouse to support him, they can take all that Semper Fi bullshit and flush it down the toilet.\u201d— BKactual (@BKactual) 1684026609
So let's talk about Daniel Penny's service.
An overview of his service provided by the Marine Corps to Military.com seems eerily similar to mine. Penny served a single tour from 2017 to 2021 (mine was 2000 to 2005), he did one deployment to the Mediterranean (mine was Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003) and left as a corporal but was promoted to sergeant while in the Individual Ready Reserve. We both received instruction on the Marines' version of martial arts (the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program or MCMAP). Which is why as a Marine, I hold Daniel Penny's actions to a higher standard than some conservative radio asshole.
Part of that is Penny's misuse of his MCMAP training.
The rear naked choke Daniel Penny used is called a "blood choke" in the MCMAP manual and is performed by cutting the oxygen-enriched blood by squeezing the carotid arteries located on both sides of the neck. A "blood choke" is the preferred method because it is the fastest way to "stop the fight" according to the manual. How fast? From page 60 of the MCMAP manual, a blood choke versus an air choke:
When executed properly, a blood choke takes between eight to thirteen seconds for the aggressor to lose consciousness. [...] When executed properly, an air choke takes between two and three minutes for the aggressor to lose consciousness.
The air choke is not recommended because of the length of time it takes to stop the fight.
Again, Daniel Penny had Jordan Neely in a rear choke for approximately seven minutes, twice as long as it would take for an air choke and over 100 times longer than a properly applied blood choke.
Penny, as a trained Marine who served (and more recently than me) knew better. But Marines are not just taught how and on whom to use these techniques but also when, where, and why. These techniques are meant as a last resort of survival when you are unarmed and in a grappling situation with a person intent on killing you. No reports indicate that Jordan Neely did anything more than be loud and disruptive when Daniel Penny decided to abuse these techniques and disregard key parts of Marine training.
Based on these similarities, it is why I find Penny's actions disgraceful and unbecoming of a Marine. Penny's actions were wrong even if he felt he was not intending to murder Jordan Neely. Jordan Neely deserved better.
Semper Fi, the Marines' motto, means "always faithful." But that faithfulness is meant for what we stand for and are meant to represent. Part of that duty is also calling out and holding accountable those who disgrace that. Daniel Penny disgraced the Marine Corps through his actions and should be held accountable.
Have a week and Semper Fi.
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.