Army officials still haven't made it clear whether they think Pvt. Danny Chen shot himself or if the bullet that wound up in his brain came from one of his comrade's guns, but they're holding eight other soldiers accountable for his death. The available evidence suggests Chen committed suicide after his superiors taunted him with ethnic slurs and physically abused him, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. NATO command said he died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound." He was found in a guard tower at a U.S. outpost in Kandahar Province. But the Army hasn't publicly ruled his death a suicide. It's charging a lieutenant, two staff sergeants, three sergeants, and two specialists with crimes ranging from dereliction of duty to assault, negligent homicide, and involuntary manslaughter. Chen's death has already become a cause for Asian-American activists in his native New York, where The New York Times reported in October that his community was suspicious military officials wouldn't thoroughly investigate the incident. His tormenters allegedly made ethnic slurs and " one night dragged him out of bed and across the floor when he failed to turn off a water heater after showering," The Times reported.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.