The Gist on what’s really going on in this case
Those of us who choose to observe such things recognized quickly that the Daniel Penny arrest will be one of those iconic cases New York seems to specialize in; an event that captures the urban zeitgiest, for better or worse.
But what is really going on, beneath the headlines?
Here’s The Gist:
THIS WAS A POLITICAL DECISION: Manhattan DA Bragg did not do this unilaterally. He collaborated, certainly — but the NYPD would never have made this arrest, pre-grand jury, without the direction of City Hall.
This before the toxicology report was likely even back.
Neither Adams nor Bragg wanted to risk that Penny wouldn’t be indicted by the grand jury. (Also: Adams wanted this related headache to go away.)
Understand that this is terrible prosecutorial strategy. Bragg now has only about a month to get all his discovery over to the defense.
The Gist: Mayor Adams got shaky because of a few activist protestors, Bragg agreed, they conferred — and decided to throw normal procedure out the window and rush to an arrest.
THE PROTESTS THEMSELVES WERE CONTRIVED: The one thing missing from the traditional narrative here was the involvement of the police. So the protestors had to somehow drag the cops into it.
Further, there is no way the protestors jumped onto subway tracks — and stood on the third rail — without an assurance that the power was shut off and a train wouldn’t come barrelling through (would you?).
There was also more media there than protestors — as was the case in other protests above-ground.
The Gist: The protests were a tactic to not only pressure City Hall, but to involve the NYPD. The decision to shut off power in that subway station also likely came from City Hall.
THE STRATEGY NOW WILL BE TO COERCE THE GRAND JURY: Understand, even though an arrest has been made, there will still be a grand jury at some point before any trial. We will now see a concerted effort by the media and progressive politicos to standardize the characterization of Neely’s death as a “lynching” and a “murder.”
This especially, as there is still a chance that the grand jury refuses to indict Penny. The push-back among everyday New Yorkers — liberals all — is surprisingly strong.
The Gist: Manhattanites take the subway, and are fed up — especially women, who are the typical targets in the subway. The left cannot risk the grand jury indicting on a lesser charge, or not indicting at all.
THERE WILL LIKELY BE A TRIAL: If Daniel Penny is indicted — and Bragg will do all he can to ensure this — I don’t believe Penny will take a plea. Jail will be very hostile terrain for him.
The Gist: This will likely go to trial — where I believe we will get a hung jury.
THE TRIAL WILL TURN ON THE VIDEO: The current reporting is that Neely presented as a true threat — removing his jacket, screaming, “I’m done,” etc. At this point, this seems established.
As such, Daniel Penny’s decision to mitigate the threat appears reasonable.
What will be called into question is how much force he used — that is: Did he hang on to Neely’s neck too long?
Neely appears to be struggling right up until Penny releases him. Indeed, others felt the need to assist Penny. And Neely visibly takes a long breath even after Penny releases him.
The Gist: If even one juror believes that Penny only released Neely once he felt the threat was over, Penny will not be convicted.
THOSE MOST OUTRAGED ARE WHO CAUSED THIS: An incident like this was almost inevitable. The pull-back from securing our public spaces has made private citizens taking action a fait accompli.
Now, you would have to have a heart of stone not to feel something from the image of Neely lying on that subway car floor, in his ratty sneakers and dirty pants, dying.
He was violent; he hurt people, yes. But he was crazy and he was a human being. After 42 priors, some violent, he should’ve been locked up in a humane environment. Forcibly incarcerated as an incorrigible, receiving coerced treatment.
Why is NYC incapable of doing that? B/c the homeless services industry is exactly that — an industry and a patronage mill. Bill de Blasio gave $800 million to “Thrive NYC,” under the stewardship of his wife. Things somehow got worse.
The budget for the Department of Homeless services for fiscal 2024 is $240 million — yet another jump in their budget. While New York’s subway continues to be a rolling psych ward. The streets aren’t much better.
The Gist: New York’s mental health services is an industry and a patronage mill — and it will sink Mayor Adams’ re-election hopes unless he turns this around.
And THE BIG GIST: The same dynamic is underway in all of America’s large, Dem-run cities — as this space has been saying for some time now.
Three headlines over the last few days:
The New York Times: “Daniel Penny Will Be Charged in Subway Chokehold Killing of Jordan Neely”
The New York Post: “NYC Straphanger Arrested After Macing ‘Disorderly’ Man in Subway Station: Cops”
New York Daily News: “Man Slashed on Brooklyn Subway Train For Intervening in Fight: NYPD”
All separate incidents, all on New York’s transit system.
The message? Don’t try to help.
And The Funniest Headline of the Year, So Far, Goes To…
I wish I could be this intentionally funny!
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