Attorneys for Daniel Penny, the man charged with manslaughter in the New York City subway shooting death of Jordan Neely earlier this month, have raised over $1.3 million on the GiveSendGo crowdfunding site. And that number could be old news for a few hours, because Penny’s legal defense fund is raising money very quickly.
“Daniel Penny is a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine Corps veteran facing a criminal investigation stemming from protecting individuals on the New York City subway from an assailant who later died,” GiveSendGo site explains.
“Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal costs incurred as a result of any criminal charges filed and any future civil actions that may arise, as well as the costs associated with his defense. All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds raised in excess of that necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York,” the campaign description continues.
Representatives for Penny did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the New York newspaper did Gothamist confirmed on Friday that his legal team had started a fundraising campaign. The campaign had raised $283,000 as of Friday morning, growing to over $1.3 million as of Saturday night.
GiveSendGo bills itself as a Christian fundraising site and was founded in 2014. The platform has become popular among white supremacists and far-right extremists which rose from more mainstream crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe in the mid-2010s.
Penny, a 24-year-old ex-Marine, was caught on video choking Neely in a choke hold. The video, showing Neely limp and dying, went viral and led to protests in New York by people who wanted to see Penny arrested. Penny was arraigned in New York on Friday and was released on $100,000 bail.
Although Penny’s political views are unclear, GiveSendGo has become a haven for right-wing fundraising in a country where almost everything has become political.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense fund has raised over $240,000 on GiveSendGo ahead of his trial. Rittenhouse was just 17 when he traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin and killed two people during violent civil rights protests in the summer of 2020. Rittenhouse claimed he acted in self-defense and was cleared of murder.
Several members of the extremist group Proud Boys have also launched crowdfunding campaigns following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The Enrique Tarrio Legal Defense Fund has raised over $113,000 on GiveSendGo. Tarrio was found guilty of sedition and conspiracy May 4 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Relatives of Jordan Neely started a GoFundMe campaign for his funeral expenses, which has increased over $82,000.
Penny surrendered her passport and was ordered not to leave New York State. Penny is scheduled to appear in court again July 17.
Forbes – Innovation