Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Eight U.S. troops are facing charges including involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, who was found dead of “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” in a guard tower in Afghanistan in October, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
Chen’s case became a major news story in New York after family members alleged he had been hazed before his death because of his Chinese ethnicity. An Army official told the family that Chen had been beaten by superiors and subjected to racially motivated taunts, according to an October story in The New York Times.
“After two months of agonizing over the loss, it is of some comfort and relief that the Army is taking this seriously,” Chen’s mother, Su Zhen, said through an interpreter at a news conference Wednesday in New York, according to an MSNBC report.
Last week, hundreds of supporters took to the streets of Lower Manhattan to demand that the Army take action, and news of the military charges quickly led the stories on the websites of most major New York City news organizations.
Of the eight soldiers charged, five face charges including negligent homicide and manslaughter, while three others face charges including making false statements or dereliction of duty.
ISAF spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Alan Davis said via email from Afghanistan that “the charges relate to conduct that occurred in the time leading up to [Chen’s] death.”
All eight soldiers charged served in the same unit as Chen: Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. They were assigned to Combat Outpost Palace in southern Afghanistan.
Read the entire updated story here.