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Celebrities, Internet Personalities Open Their Wallets to Fund Daniel Penny’s Defense

Published: May 15, 2023
Daniel Penny is escorted in handcuffs by the NYPD after turning himself into the 5th Precinct on May 12, 2023 in New York City. Penny turned himself in after being charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely. (Image: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Celebrities and internet personalities alike are donating thousands of dollars to a GiveSendGo campaign launched to fund the defense of Daniel Penny, the Marine Corps veteran who has been charged in the New York City chokehold death of an erratic homeless man. 

So far it appears that Tim Pool, journalist and host of a number of YouTube channels has made the largest donation to date, giving $20,000 to the campaign which has garnered over $2 million.  

“I just donated $20,000 to Daniel Penny’s Defense fund,” Pool tweeted, adding that “Penny is the Subway Good Samaritan and we are lucky to have brave souls like him who are willing to do the right thing.”

According to the campaign, Vivek Ramaswamy, an American entrepreneur and politician who is a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primary, is one of the second largest donors, giving $10,000 to the campaign.

Ramaswarmy, an Ohio resident, said the homeless man, Jordan Neely, should have been behind bars or in a mental institution, “not free to terrorize his fellow citizens,” Fox News reported.

“You have an abandonment of the rule of law,” he told Fox News Digital. “Then someone who tries to assist and protect people, based on the current facts we have… is now being prosecuted. That represents a perversion of how the system is supposed to work.”


Two other anonymous donors gave $10,000 each with one leaving a note reading, “Thank you for protecting the citizens that day.”

Another three anonymous donors gave $5,000 each with one commenting, “If the Mayor did his job. This would have never had happened. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 the BIG 🍎 is rotting to its core!”

Robert Ritchie, otherwise known as Kid Rock, also donated $5,000 to the campaign. 

As of the morning of May 15, over 44,000 people had donated to the campaign, with donations exceeding $2.13 million. 

“Daniel Penny is, a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died,” the campaign reads.

“Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense,” it adds before stating that any excess funds will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City. 

Funds will be managed by Penny’s lawyers, Thomas Kennif and Steven Raiser.

The campaign received a boost by Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, who tweeted, “We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.”

Penny is facing a felony charge of second-degree manslaughter in Neely’s death and could receive up to 15 years in prison if convicted.