Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman holds a press conference supporting Daniel Penny on...

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman holds a press conference supporting Daniel Penny on May 24 in Manhattan. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Thank you for correctly calling out Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman for exploiting his office’s resources — including paid staffers and use of the official county executive podium — for a political rally in Manhattan [“Blakeman commutes to the NYC limelight,” Opinion, May 25].

The stated purpose for staging the rally — “Nassau County residents travel to New York City” — is unbelievable. Using municipal resources to stage a government news conference about a case that Nassau County has no connection to, or jurisdiction over, is disdainful.

As a press secretary to the former administrations in the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County, I would have been rightfully laughed out of the room for suggesting a similar idea.

I can only imagine the uproar if New York City Mayor Eric Adams came to Mineola and delivered a speech behind his podium on how Nassau County was harming its residents by failing to address inequities in its assessment system, and stated he was there because New York City residents have family living in the county who sometimes come to visit.

— Michael Fricchione, Astoria

Kudos to Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. He had every right to go into Manhattan to protest the discriminatory treatment of Daniel Penny, who is from West Islip, was legally in the city and entitled to protect himself by all appropriate means.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg should not have started prosecuting Penny until the case was investigated.

Our elected officials must step up to protect the rights of Long Islanders.
 — Lawrence Donohue, West Islip


Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s rally for Daniel Penny appears to bring racism into the picture. Much like in the deep South during segregation, it was not uncommon for people to come from far and wide for the purpose of influencing the judge and jury when a white defendant was on trial for killing a Black person.

 — Ed Hickland, Merrick

I don’t believe it would be possible to get 12 jurors to agree to convict Daniel Penny of second-degree manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. If Penny goes free, will we have demonstrations or more serious public action, including riots?

How could media pundits who are attorneys and should know better equate this situation with the horrific case of George Floyd? Ridiculous, or maybe politically correct nonsense? A video shows Daniel Penny choking Jordan Neely for about 50 more seconds after Neely stopped moving.

This is not comparable to an armed police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes. Two other passengers believed Penny needed help to restrain Neely.

Hopefully, we will find the truth and get justice for all, not bowing to political pressure and fear of public reaction. Fear of riots should never affect any judicial decision.

 — Michael J. Gorman, Whitestone

The writer is a retired NYPD lieutenant.


Was ex-Marine Daniel Penny in the right place minding his business at the right time, or in the right place minding his business at the wrong time? Whatever the answer, one man is dead and another’s life has been altered forever. What I know for sure is that if I ever ride the subway, I hope there is an ex-Marine there to protect me.

 — Susan Hennings Lowe, Huntington

It’s easy, too easy, to pretend that military veteran Daniel Penny, a man who allegedly strangled a skinny, unarmed homeless man on the subway, is some sort of hero. A reader, in effect, implied that [“Don’t judge fatal subway struggle,” Letters, May 10].

Much of the local media has seemed to characterize the death of Jordan Neely, who had mental health issues, as justified. I know how unpleasant it can be to encounter loud, homeless people in a subway car, but it doesn’t give one the right to choke someone to death. If convicted, Penny’s actions should have significant criminal consequences in the civilized society we say we are.

 — Robert Mays, Freeport


If Daniel Penny and others had not intervened and Jordan Neely had seriously injured someone in the subway, the headlines likely would have read, “Several people stand by and do nothing as fellow passenger is attacked.” In the future, people will be scared to intervene and help someone.

You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Ask the woman punched by Neely who had her eye socket broken how she feels about this.

 — Stephen Mantegna, Long Beach

Years ago, after a movie in an Amityville theater ended and the lights came on, someone rolled marbles down the exit aisle, causing many people to fall. A large, enraged man began pummeling the young man he thought caused the mayhem.

As a recently discharged Marine, I restrained the man’s flailing arms. He thanked me for preventing a tragedy. Nowadays, I would probably think twice before intervening.

 — Bill Ober, Huntington

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