Shocking Details of Private Danny Chen Case Revealed

Posted on: January 6th, 2012 at 6:28 am by

Back in early October, Nineteen-year-old Private Danny Chen was found dead inside the guard tower of an American base in Afghanistan.  His non-combat death caused a local uproar in his hometown community of Chinatown, with the story eventually making national headlines. Eight soldiers currently face criminal charges ranging from negligent homicide to making false statements about Chen’s death.

Photo Credit: US Military

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon, Council member Margaret Chin held a press conference with Chen’s parents and OCA-NY to announce the findings of the official investigation.  The report provides shocking details of mistreatment and abuse by fellow servicemen.

Photo Credit: Office of Margaret Chin

The gruesome play by play:

  • After arriving in Afghanistan in mid-August 2011, Private Danny Chen was “almost immediately” required to do excessive exercises that “quickly crossed over into abuse.”
  • Private Danny Chen was subjected to an excess number of exercises every day, including push-ups, sit-ups, runs, and sprints.
  • Private Danny Chen was made to crawl over gravel while wearing all of his equipment.
  • Private Danny Chen was put in a “simulated sitting position” and kicked by other soldiers using their knees.
  • Private Danny Chen was made to crawl over gravel while rocks were thrown at him to “simulate artillery.”
  • Fellow soldiers used racial slurs against Private Danny Chen, including: “gook,” “dragon lady,” and “chink.”
  • Private Danny Chen was made to do push-ups while holding water in his mouth.
  • Private Danny Chen was assigned “excessive guard duty” to the point of exhaustion.
  • During one incident, Private Danny Chen was made to wear a green helmet and shout orders in Chinese.
  • On September 27th, a superior officer dragged Private Danny Chen out of bed and over 15 meters of gravel. This left visible bruises and cuts on Private Danny Chen’s back.
  • The September 27th incident was reported to Private Chen’s Platoon Sergeant and Squad Leader who did not report the incident to higher officers.
  • On the day of his death, Private Danny Chen reported for guard duty without his helmet. After returning to his trailer for his helmet, he was made to crawl over gravel for 100 meters while soldiers threw rocks at him.
  • On the day he died, Private Chen did not have adequate water while serving on guard duty.
  • Private Danny Chen was the only Chinese-American in his unit.

Recent Stories

LES Crepes & Taqueria Wraps Around Hester Street with New Annex

LES Crepes & Taqueria just unveiled its newly improved eat space on Essex Street. Customers are now forced to enter the premises at the corner. No more ordering and waiting for food on the sidewalk. One of the workers explained his pleasure with putting the claustrophobia in the past. By breaking down the wall to […]

How About an Evening ‘Tasting’ at Ray’s Candy Store Tonight?

Now that the summertime (bougie) Restaurant Week has come to a close, time to spend an evening with an Alphabet City classic. Indeed, there is a special “tasting” event later this evening at Ray’s Candy Store. For the accessible ten-spot cover charge, proprietor Ray Alvarez will serve a “5-course meal including selections of Ray’s famous […]

SHUT Skateboards Shutting Down its Orchard Street HQ

Looks like SHUT is shutting its flagship skateshop on the Lower East Side. The store has been part of the retail landscape here for about ten years. And as of last week, there is now a Misrahi Realty leasing sign hanging in the front window. It’s indication enough that more turnover is around the corner. […]

Two-Story Shops at 330-332 Grand Street Sell for $6M, Demolition and Redevelopment Imminent

Back in April, we noticed some unusual activity happening at 330-332 Grand Street. The roll-down gates for all five commercial units were hoisted, and the sidewalk flaps to the cellar opened. This could only mean one thing – imminent changing of the guard. And that’s exactly what happened. According to public records, the holdout two-story […]

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington Gets a Tribute on Ludlow Street

Late Linkin Park leadman is now memorialized on the Lower East Side. Barely one month after Chester Bennington committed suicide at 41, an unknown fan stuck his image onto the facade of 159 Ludlow Street (aka 101 Stanton). The distinctive photo is itself framed by a television set and stands apart from the collage of […]

  • Hhdk

    shoot them all those who inflicted this to their fellow soldier

  • Angela

    What happened to Prt Danny Chen is so outrageously cruel.  According to the military,

    the 8 soldiers are still in Afghanistan but have been relieved
    of their duties and confined to a different base.  There will be hearings on these soldiers but the military is planning to hold them in Afghanistan. Chen’s family and the community members are calling for the hearings to be
    held in the United States. To do otherwise would be unfair.  Let’s call for the military to hold the trials/hearings in NYC.

    • Danielforant

      Have I ever served… Do u know the first thing about the military or are u speaking just from the comfort of your computer*

  • Skibunny2000

    Thanks for your service to our country.  RIP Prt Danny Chen!

  • Danielforant

    Look this is out of control… People need to understand that these men put their lives on the line everyday and that thoes judging them from the comfort of their computer screens don’t know the first thing about combat or what it takes to get through it…..it is a tragety that this kid killed himself…..bit he did kill himself…..we are I. The middle of a war….where men face an enemy that will cut their hearse off on video and this kid kills himself because he endures new guy treatment……..give me a break……been there done that…tragic…..bit his decision…..