Family Of Hazed Army Private Says Penalties For Accused Soldiers Were Not Strong Enough
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Family and supporters of Private Danny Chen are speaking out after the last of the eight soldiers accused of bullying him had his case heard.
Lt. Daniel Schwartz, the platoon leader, will avoid a trial but will be thrown out of the military under a deal with prosecutors.
Five other soldiers were sentenced to prison and demoted, while the other two were simply demoted.
A spokesperson for the family said they don't feel the punishments were harsh enough.
"Danny's death was senseless and could've been prevented if someone in his chain of command just did their basic duty and said 'stop,'" said Elizabeth OuYang, the president of the Organization of Chinese Americans. "These slap on the wrist penalties do not give justice to the life of Danny Chen."
"Justice was not served and sentences were barely a slap on the wrist," said Councilwoman Margaret Chin.
Chen was a Chinatown native who killed himself in October 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.
Prosecutors say he was driven to suicide after being brutally hazed by other troops.
He was 19 years old.