Numerous other right-wing and conspiratorial figures, like Mike Cernovich and Collin Rugg, have stuck to a broader line of calling the killer a “good Samaritan.” They are advancing the notion—sans brain or soul—that Penny’s arrest symbolizes the state punishing an individual for being a hero and for sticking up against evil.
The continuous smearing of Neely, a man already dead, follows Fox’s previously cruel coverage of the murder: They laugh, encourage jeering, and blame the murder on anything but the actual culprit.
If there’s anything repressive or authoritarian about this case, it’s not that someone is being charged for killing. It’s our reaction to the already senseless killing of a homeless man who embodies the millions of people our society fails and leaves in the dust. Just days ago, the police arrested a journalist trying to record them violently repressing people protesting that Penny—who, again, was caught on film killing someone—had not yet faced consequences.