Thursday, December 22, 2011

8 GIs charged in death of Danny Chen, a fellow GI

80-20 shall keep a close watch on this case and aim to prevent

A Vincent Chin II Situation.


See an MSNBC report on the death of Danny Chen. (Emphasis added)

"Eight U.S. soldiers have been charged in the death of 19-year-old Private Danny Chen, who was found shot to death in a guard tower in Afghanistan. It was first thought that Chen may have committed suicide. The military's investigation found however that Chen, an Asian-American from New York's Chinatown, had been the target of ethnic slurs and physical attacks at the hands of his fellow soldiers. Chen was found dead on Oct. 3 with a gunshot wound below the chin; it's not clear from today's charges whether the eight soldiers are accused of killing him or whether officials are alleging that their mistreatment of Chen led him to take his own life.

Last week, hundreds of supporters held a vigil and demanded answers in Chen's death. A group of community leaders at the vigil said it had a meeting at the Pentagon recently about the treatment of Asian soldiers in the military, and wanted the commanding officers to be punished. At the vigil last Thursday, the soldier's family ramped up pressure on investigators, reading aloud letters Chen had sent home, reflecting the state of isolation he was in from being harassed by his comrades and superiors.

"'Feb. 27, 2011: Since I am the only Chinese person here, everyone knows me by Chen,'" read his cousin Banny Chen. "'They ask if I'm from China a few times a day... They also call out my name Chen in a goat-like voice sometimes for no reason.'" "'People crack jokes about Chinese people all the time. I'm running out
of jokes to come back at them.'"


Chen's death is one of several recent cases of alleged hazing in the military, according to OCA, a national civil rights organization serving Asian Pacific Americans. One of those was apparently Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who was hazed by fellow Marines, according to a U.S. military report on his April 3 death. The
military charged three Marines -- accused of beating Lew hours before he killed himself -- with hazing and they face court martial, . . . . . "

For a video report on this tragedy, please click on
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Danny-Chen-Soldier-Death-Hazing-Asian-American-Charged-Criminal-Probe-Military-135988423.html -- preferred

What 80-20 has done
See S. B. Woo's letter to the Secretary of the Army on Nov. 1 (emphasis added), letting him know that 300,000 of 80-20's supporters are keeping a close watch on Danny Chen's death.

What 80-20 will do

o To prevent a Vincent Chin II situation, we need to learn from our own mistakes.
In one of Vincent Chin's trials, a low level Asian American prosecutor was caught "coaching a witness," which made the case much more difficult.
o 80-20 shall keep a close watch on this case and ask all good-hearted Asian Ams to be careful. Support the case with your voice and demonstrations. However, leave the legal situation to experts & serious Asian Am organizations to ensure justice.
Forward this to AsAm youths
Our youths need to know this. Forward this to them.
To join, using a credit card, click on http://www.80-20initiative.net . OR
send your check to 80-20 PAC 13337 South St. #189 Cerritos, CA 90703. 

Basic $35; Family 
$50; Student $15; Life Member $1,000.
Respectfully yours,
S. B. Woo, a volunteer for 80-20 PAC who is soon to retire to the 2nd line
 

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