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.

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