A group of supporters, friends and family of Private Danny Chen, the 19-year-old Chinatown native found dead in a military base in Afghanistan last October, departed from Columbus Park this morning for Fort Bragg, North Carolina. There they will attend the military trial of Sergeant Adam Holcomb, one of eight officers charged in connection with the death of private Chen, who died of a self-inflicted bullet wound after enduring hazing and physical abuse from fellow soldiers because of his race, military officials say.
The group traveling to the trial gathered for a press conference in the park this morning before boarding a van headed south. Led primarily by the New York chapter of the Organization for Chinese Americans, the group will spend the next week attending the trial in Fort Bragg. They will be joined there later this week by City Council member Margaret Chin, who has criticized the military for doing too little to combat racism and hazing. Many of Chen’s family members are already in North Carolina, but one of his uncles is traveling with the group.