An online fundraiser for Daniel Penny who fatally choked Jordan Neely, a homeless black street performer on a New York Subway has raised $1.5 million as of Monday. The response to the fundraising was so overwhelming that it crashed the GiveSendGo Page hosting it.
The 24-year-old US Marine Veteran Neely has been charged with second-degree manslaughter for the murder of Neely, 30.
The incident shot to the national limelight when a video of Penny choke-holding Neely surfaced online. The incident and the subsequent decision by the NYC prosecutors to charge Penny has led to polarizing reactions across the country.
Earlier in the month, protestors took to the street in New York to demand that the authorities press charges against Penny. Others have expressed support for Penny, hailing him as a hero who risked his life to control Neely, a homeless man with a documented history of mental health problems.
According to the host of the online fundraiser, law firm Raiser &Kenniff, P.C. the purpose of the fund collection is to cover legal fees of Penny after the state decided to charge him with second-degree manslaughter. The description adds that funds exceeding the legal fee will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.
Penny turned himself in on Thursday and was released on a $100,000 bond.