Pvt. Danny Chen's supporters head to army abuse trial
More that two dozen activists, Chinatown community leaders and other supporters of Pvt. Danny Chen made their way from New York to North Carolina Monday to attend the court martial of one of the soldiers charged for allegedly pushing the soldier to suicide.
Military officials charge that Chen, who grew up in Chinatown, shot himself on Oct. 3 in Afghanistan after enduring weeks of racial slurs and abuse from fellow soldiers.
Elizabeth OuYang, president of the New York chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, said that the outcome of the trial will have implications beyond obtaining justice for Chen and his family.
"This trial will determine whether or not the army will acknowledge that the chain of command failed to protect Danny Chen or turn a blind eye to their responsibility," OuYang said from a bus bound for Fayetteville.
The court martial for Sgt. Adam Holcomb will begin Tuesday at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He is the first of eight soldiers to go on trial for Chen's death and faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted on all charges.