Progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a charge of second-degree manslaughter last week against Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran accused of killing Jordan Neely with a chokehold restraint during a May 1 incident on a subway in which Neely was alleged to have been threatening violence toward others.
Now civil rights attorney Leo Terrell has accused DA Bragg of playing the "race card" and using Penny, who is white, as a "sacrificial lamb" to appease angry activists and mobs of protesters demanding justice for Neely, who was black, the Western Journal reported.
Friday morning, according to New York's WNBC, Penny turned himself in at a police precinct and was brought before a judge to be arraigned on the second-degree manslaughter charge, which could result in up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Penny was ultimately released on a $100,000 bond and stipulations that would prohibit him from leaving the state of New York without express permission from the court.
It is also possible that the Marine veteran could face additional charges after Bragg submits to a grand jury for review all of the gathered evidence in the case.
That includes video of the incident, which showed two other men who helped Penny restrain Neely, as well as statements from witnesses who alleged that Neely, who was mentally ill and homeless and had a lengthy criminal record that included violent physical assaults, was behaving erratically and making threats against other passengers on the subway train.
Later on Friday, Leo Terrell appeared on Fox News with host Martha MacCallum and was asked for his response to the criminal charge that Manhattan DA Bragg had filed against Penny for what his defense attorneys claimed was an act of self-defense for himself and others.
"The big question, Martha, is why -- why the Marine and not the other individuals who helped him? I mean, why weren’t they charged for anything? They weren’t charged at all," Terrell said.
"And Martha, I would submit to you -- I hate to say it -- I would submit to you that the far-left Alvin Bragg is a classic 'we want to play the race card' situation," he continued. "You can't ignore the fact that this Marine is white. You can't ignore the fact that the victim is black."
Terrell referenced the fact that there have been "27 other individuals who have lost their life down there at the subway, but no action. Why?"
"This is the ugliest of the race card being played. And this Marine is being the sacrificial lamb. And I find it offensive," he added.
Whether or not the race of Penny and Neely was a prime motivating factor in DA Bragg's decision to pursue a criminal charge -- or if he merely sought relief from the relentless pressure to take action imposed by progressive politicians and mobs of angry protesters -- is something that seems possible but will likely never be confirmed.
Regardless of Bragg's motivations, a segment of the American people has spoken up loudly in support of Penny by way of generous donations to his legal defense fund, which as of Tuesday afternoon had already raised more than $2.5 million on his behalf.