Rock music icon Kid Rock has emerged as one of the top donors to the Daniel Penny defense fund, a fundraising effort for the former U.S. Marine charged in the death of homeless man Jordan Neely in a New York City subway chokehold.
The GiveSendGo fundraiser has surged to $2,412,744 in donations, with Kid Rock contributing $5,000 and a character reference for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The 52–year–old musician, whose given name is Robert Ritchie, is not the only big–name donor. Republican presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, 37, donated $10,000 of his own money.
The Ohio resident said that Neely should have been behind bars or in a mental institution and “not free to terrorize his fellow citizens.”
“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.”
As of Monday morning, more than 42,000 people had donated to the campaign on the Christian crowdfunding site.
Thomas Kenniff, a lawyer for Penny, said his client did not mean to harm Neely earlier this month and is dealing with the situation with “integrity and honor.”
If Penny is convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. The two other men who wrestled Neely to the ground were not charged.
The incident has sparked outrage in the city and across the country, with many people questioning why Penny is being charged for what some consider an act of self–defense.
The case has also managed to catch the attention of those standing around the issue of police brutality and calls for reform.
Kid Rock’s donation to the defense fund is a reminder that even celebrities can recognize the need for justice in cases like this and take action to support those who are facing charges.