Family members of a Manhattan army private who committed suicide last year in Afghanistan are unhappy with an Army recommendation to drop involuntary manslaughter charges against the soldiers accused of harassing him.
Military investigators say 19-year-old Manhattan native Danny Chen shot himself while in Afghanistan, after enduring weeks of racial slurs, humiliation and physical abuse by his colleagues.
Eight soldiers are charged with negligent homicide in the case, including 26-year-old Sergeant Jeffrey Hurst of Brooklyn.
One soldier is being court-martialed, and military trials are recommended for the others.
A spokesperson for Chen's family said in Chinatown on Tuesday that the soldiers should be held accountable for his death.
"If the Army is serious about prosecuting this case to the fullest extent under the law, they will hold these court martials in the United States, where the family can participate in and be present," said President Elizabeth OuYang of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
An Army spokesman said the involuntary manslaughter charges could be brought back as the courts-martial proceed.
The soldiers face a maximum of three years behind bars if convicted.