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Family Of Soldier Wants Chinatown Block Renamed ‘Danny Chen Way’

Chen Committed Suicide In Afghanistan Following Hazing
Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

Pvt. Danny Chen (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Advocates are seeking to name a street in New York City’s Chinatown after a soldier who committed suicide.

Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, shot himself in Afghanistan in 2011 after being racially harassed by other soldiers.

Chen’s parents and other community supporters are seeking to have Chinatown’s Elizabeth Street between Canal and Bayard streets renamed Danny Chen Way.

The application will be before Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee on Tuesday evening.

Chen’s death led to charges against eight military officers and legislation requiring the military to take steps to prevent hazing.

Elizabeth OuYang, New York chapter president of the Organization for Chinese Americans, said all soldiers who fight for the United State should be treated “with dignity and respect.”

Chen grew up in Chinatown.

He shot himself to death in a guardhouse Oct. 3, 2011. He was called names while in training, then was subjected to hazing after he was deployed to Afghanistan, according to his family. On the day of Chen’s death, he was forced to crawl about 100 yards across gravel carrying his equipment while his fellow soldiers threw rocks at him, the family said.

He had only been in Afghanistan for two months when he committed suicide. Chen’s relatives say he was brutally hazed during training because he was Chinese-American.

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