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

East Village
Voices of the Lower East Side Talk of Its Struggle to Survive

The Lower East Side has been considered one of the eleven most endangered historic places since 2008. Truth. According to the National Trust of Historic Preservation: Few places in America can boast such a rich tapestry of history, culture and architecture as New York’s Lower East Side.  However, this legendary neighborhood—the first home for waves of […]

cheese-grille-allen
Grilled Cheese Restaurant Opens at 188 Allen Street

That new grilled cheese restaurant-bar at 188 Allen Street is now open. Awnings have been unrolled and stools set at the various tables. Last identified as “Cheese Grille” by various Craigslist job listings, the manager inside said the business is still nameless, and informed us that the official christening should happen sometime next month. A […]

shapiro-hardware-lafayette
The 9-Story Development Forcing Out Decades-Old Businesses at Bleecker and Lafayette

Last week, we broke news that the longstanding businesses at the northwest corner of Bleecker and Lafayette would depart for something big. Like the building in the above rendering, unearthed by Curbed yesterday. Nothing is on file yet with the DOB, but rumor has it that this new nine-story building is forthcoming. It’s believed the […]

Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique Album Cover, 99 Rivington
‘Beastie Boys Square’ Proponent Organizes Mural to Commemorate 25th Anniversary of ‘Paul’s Boutique’

Since “Beastie Boys Square” didn’t happen, outspoken proponent LeRoy McCarthy has taken a different approach. Wolfnights is donating its Ludlow Street facade for a new celebratory mural. The artwork will pay tribute to both the hip-hop trio and their 1989 LP, which was released 25 years ago today. The album cover features the southwest corner […]

comfort-diner-noahs-ark
Comfort Diner Begins Construction on Grand Street, Will Open Labor Day

With its victory over Holy Schnitzel far in the rearview mirror, the Comfort Diner conversion is now underway down at 399 Grand Street. Build-out officially began inside the old Noah’s Ark Deli last Thursday, eradicating pretty much any trace of the predecessor business. Exterior branding remains intact, though. Owner Ira Freehof tells us that “the […]

  • 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…..