NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Some counter-protesters were arrested Wednesday at a Manhattan rally organized by Nassau County officials in support of Daniel Penny, the Marine veteran charged with manslaughter in Jordan Neely's fatal subway chokehold.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman traveled to Collect Pond Park to back Penny, 24, who allegedly restrained Neely on an F subway train in SoHo on May 1 after police say the 30-year-old acted in a "hostile and erratic manner" toward passengers.
"We're calling on [Manhattan District Attorney] Alvin Bragg to stop this senseless prosecution of a good Samaritan — of a United States Marine veteran," the Republican said.
Neely's last moments were recorded on video by an onlooker who said he had been yelling at other passengers as he begged for money, but hadn’t attacked anyone.
A few dozen military veterans waved American flags behind Blakeman, who called Penny a "hero."
"He cared about his fellow subway riders," Blakeman said. "He cared enough to get involved. And isn't that what we want?"
Blakeman had to contend with a small but vocal group of Neely supporters.
Karla Reyes, a counter-protester, noted that the rally was held "just days after" Neely's funeral and argued that "opportunistic politicians [are] now using" Penny to fundraise.
There was a very large police presence at the event, and the NYPD said that there were arrests but that the details weren't yet available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.