‘Good Samaritan’? Ron DeSantis’s defense of subway vigilante stokes controversy

'Let’s show this Marine... America’s got his back.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis was traveling in the Midwest when he leaped into a controversy involving a killing on a New York subway, using a religious parable to make his point.

“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,” DeSantis tweeted Friday.

Penny choked out a man on a New York City subway May 1. He faces a manslaughter charge after killing the man in the wake of threats to passengers.

DeSantis’ fundraising appeal only helped to bolster what is, at this writing, close to a million dollars banked for Penny’s legal defense on GiveSendGo. The right-wing alternative to GoFundMe is billed as the “#1 Christian fundraising site,” and Penny’s fundraising has already more than tripled that of another self-styled vigilante, Kyle Rittenhouse.

The Good Samaritan parable in the Bible had nothing to do with vigilante justice, of course. It involved Jesus Christ advising someone to follow the example of someone who helped the victim of attacks from robbers.

For this reason and others, DeSantis elicited a variety of reactions for his support of the Marine amid his manslaughter charges.

“The Good Samaritan in Christ’s parable stopped & helped the stranger he encountered on the road, bandaging his wounds, carrying him to an inn, paying for his care and his recovery. The guy you call a Good Samaritan murdered a hungry homeless man on the subway. Big difference,” asserted former state Rep. Omari Hardy.

“My favorite part of the New Testament was when the Good Samaritan choked a stranger to death. The lessons of Christianity, such as they are said to be, are certainly not lost on the governor of Florida,” added David Simon.

“A Good Samaritan who strangled someone to death? That’s a new twist on the story,” commented Matt Martens.

“Man, he’s drilling DEEP into the culture wars,” asserted CNN’s David Axelrod.

“Black man gets choked to death in New York. Florida’s GOP governor and wannabe president promptly issues his support for the white guy charged with killing him, and throws in some antisemitic dogwhistling too,” contended MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan.

“Ron DeSantis is raising money to help defend a white man who lynched a Black man on a NYC subway,” tweeted Morgan J. Freeman.

Not all responses were critical, however.

“Thank you Governor DeSantis! Patriots: please consider donating to the defense of this Good Samaritan protector, I just did. Daniel Perry is being persecuted by the corrupt, Soros-backed leftist agenda, let’s help,” asserted Steve Cortes, who backs DeSantis for President.

“Thank you, Governor,” added Jack Posobiec.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • corruption and abuse of power in Florida

    May 13, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Ron DeSantis is about to find out what the end of his political career will look like

    He’s out of control and he’s a lawless governor

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 15, 2023 at 9:02 am

      Technically speaking, Rhonda isn’t lawless as Governor because the Fleur D’uh state legislature changed the law to exempt him from prosecution for his possible crimes. Rhonda is not above Florida law, but he IS above Florida’s lawmakers whcih is surprising since Trump could come after any or all of them for changing Florida’s Resign to Run law from Resign to Run to Resign to Run Except Rhonda. Florida lawmakers will all meet their political demise just as soon as Trump thinks of that as an anti-Rhonda strategy.

  • Billy the Bamboozler

    May 13, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    Mind you these conservative Republican nut jobs put people on the bench who don’t care who you are… you’re gonna see the penitentiary if you commit any felony much less manslaughter.. doesn’t matter if you are a veteran or not. No matter the rhetoric, conservative Republicans shovel mountains of money to the rich and shovel as many people into jail as possible. Pay no attention to their words. Look at what they do on the ground.

    • Michael K

      May 16, 2023 at 8:52 am

      The prison industrial complex is the only major employer in small rural areas throughout Florida.

  • Joe

    May 13, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Eww… these are not your grandfather’s Marines anymore, just jingoistic bloodthirsty Republicans.

  • Tom Palmer

    May 13, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    Why DeSantis felt compelled to weigh in is not mystery. But why a lawyer is not content to let the legal system handle this–the defendant could be acquitted–is a mystery, or maybe not.

  • Michael K

    May 14, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Governor DeathSentence and the cult of lawless murder and worship of vigilantism. He’s trying to be the next cult leader, an egomaniac lacking in charm and compassion. He’s acting more like an AI bot that a human.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 15, 2023 at 9:04 am

      Yep! Rhonda’ Panties, the AI Bot sent from Tesla to destroy value Florida so Senor Elon can buy cheap.

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  • john quillman

    May 15, 2023 at 8:00 am

    Get a grip. Most progressives would have done nothing. Why ? Because they are never responsible for protecting their neighbors. They are sheep that talk compassion – and blame the adults among us for responding. If somebody had been wounded or killed — trust me–the progressive would have filmed it. And never say a word.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 15, 2023 at 9:05 am

      Nah, that filming murders while doing nothing thing, that is special for when its the police doing the murdering.

    • JustKara

      May 15, 2023 at 11:30 am

      You know what his progress would have done? Tried to get that feral rage junkie man to STOP MURDERING a human in cold blood with his bare freaking hands. What an insane freak show! I hope he stays off our streets, he’s clearly psychotically insane. You don’t murder people because words scare your weak self. GTFO.

  • Tjb

    May 15, 2023 at 9:34 am

    Would DeSantis have supported Penny if he was a black man and he choked hold a white man?

    • john quillman

      May 15, 2023 at 9:58 am

      Yes ! You don’t understand.

      • Tjb

        May 15, 2023 at 10:04 am

        I do understand. DeSantis is a thinly veiled racist playing to his base.

        • john quillman

          May 15, 2023 at 12:42 pm

          Tjb: Thoughtful and insightful response. Race ! I should have known. Make a deal with ya’, if we ever meet, lets play a card game (only played in Houston) ” Texas five card draw, first three of a kind wins”. To make it fair, I won’t look at my cards. I’ll still win. Just want you to look at me and call me a racist. A white cop saved my life.

          • Tjb

            May 15, 2023 at 2:29 pm

            Did I call you a racist? Interesting that you thought I did.
            DeSantis is playing the race card to appeal to many of the folks within his base.
            Again, if Penny was black and he murdered a white man with a chokehold … Do you really think DeSantis would be helping with the defense fund?
            Forget the poker games, just look at DeSantis’s race cards.

          • Tjb

            May 15, 2023 at 2:42 pm

            Did I call you a racist? Interesting that you thought I did.
            DeSantis is playing the race card to appeal to many of the folks within his base.
            Again, if Penny was black and he murdered a white man with a chokehold … Do you really think DeSantis would be helping with the defense fund?
            Forget the poker games, just look at DeSantis’s race cards.

          • Tjb

            May 15, 2023 at 3:45 pm

            Let’s play with DeSantis’s race cards. I will call DeSantis a racist.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 15, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Two crazy men meet on an NYC subway. One of them ends up dead. The other still has the PTSD that probably led him to commit that homicide. Rhonda’s Panties, Governor of Fleur Duh, cracks jokes about it. Classy, Ron. Classy.

Comments are closed.


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