OCA-NY Timeline: Leading the Advocacy for Private Danny Chen’s Case and for Army Reforms,
October 3, 2011: 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen is found dead at a guard tower in Afghanistan.
October 13, 2011: OCA-NY attends Danny's funeral in Chinatown and meets with the family
October 17, 2011: OCA-NY holds its first press conference with local elected officials, community leaders, and Danny's supporters to demand a thorough and transparent investigation. OCA-NY initiates 1st petition demanding a thorough and transparent investigation and requesting a meeting with Secretary of the Army--more than 5,000 signed in less than a month.
October 31, 2011: The New York Times covers Danny's case- interviews Danny's family and OCA-NY
November 1, 2011: OCA-NY receives letter from Secretary of the Army and holds second press conference with Danny’s family to share the response and update the community on next steps to find out what happened to Danny.
November 14, 2011: OCA-NY convenes organizing/advocacy committees
November 23, 2011: OCA-NY releases first video, “What Happened to Danny Chen?”
December 9, 2011: OCA-NY contacts Dr. Henry Lee, internationally recognized forensic scientist to review autopsy report
December 14, 2011: OCA-NY organizes and attends a historic meeting of national and local APA groups and local elected officials to meet with top Pentagon officials to demand army reforms
December 15, 2011: OCA-NY leads a march and candlelight vigil from the Army recruiting station near Chinatown to Columbus Park with 36+ community groups co-sponsoring and 500+supporters
December 21, 2011: Army charges 8 superiors in Afghanistan in connection with the death of Private Danny Chen, charges range from dereliction of duty to negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter. OCA-NY organizes an emergency press conference to respond.
January 5, 2012: OCA-NY accompanies the family to Fort Hamilton to meet with military officials and investigators after the Army’s 1st investigation is complete. After the meeting, OCA-NY holds 4th press conference to update the public on the case, detailing the hazing and racial maltreatment.
January 6, 2012: New York Magazine publishes 5-page feature on Danny Chen and mentions OCA-NY's advocacy efforts
January 9, 2012: OCA-NY is interviewed by Democracy Now, to promote awareness of Danny Chen’s case.
January 19, 2012: OCA-NY initiates another petition advocating for all the trials to convene in the United States so the parents and the public can attend
January 23, 2012: OCA-NY meets with Senator Gillibrand (NY-D) Office to discuss military reforms
January 27, 2012: OCA-NY testifies in support of City Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s Res 1188-2012 calling for diversity training in the military to prevent the discrimination and harassment of military personnel. The resolution was passed unanimously by the City Council.
January 28, 2012: OCA-NY reports on Danny's case at OCA-National Board meeting in Arizona
February 2, 2012: OCA-NY meets with Dr. Henry Lee in Connecticut to discuss autopsy report
February 15, 2012: OCA-NY is guest keynote speaker on Private Danny Chen’s case at Korean Americans for Political Advancement’s Speaker Series
February 19, 2012: OCA-NY is guest speaker at a Military Family Speaks Out Event
February 24, 2012: With OCA National Center and Asian American Justice Center, OCA-NY organizes meeting in Washington, D.C. with Service Women’s Action Network, Service Defense Legal Network, and Retired General Anthony Taguba at OCA-National on army reforms
March 3, 2012: OCA-NY presents Danny Chen’s case to APIA-U Leadership Training attendees at Columbia University.
March 6, 2012: OCA-NY releases 2nd video “Bring it Home,” to advocate for trials to convene in the US
March 21, 2012: OCA-NY was a panelist with renowned military law professor, Eugene Fidell, on Danny Chen’s case at Yale University
March 22, 2012: OCA-NY was guest speaker on Danny Chen’s case - University of Rochester
April 11, 2012: OCA-NY was guest speaker on Danny Chen’s case - Hofstra Law School
April 12, 2012: OCA-NY launches national birthday card campaign for what would be Private Danny Chen’s 20th birthday.
April 21, 2012: OCA-NY was guest speaker on Danny Chen’s case at Williams College
April 21, 2012: OCA-NY conducts workshop on Danny Chen’s case at NY Asian American Student Conference at New York University
April 21, 2012: OCA-NY reports on Danny’s case-OCA Nat’l Board meeting-Pittsburg, PA
April 27, 2012: OCA-NY was panelist on Danny Chen’s case at Asian American Research Institute conference
May 8, 2012: OCA-NY conducts teach-in on Danny Chen's case - Baruch College
May 12, 2012: OCA-NY educated public on Danny's case at the 33rd Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival in DUMBO, Brooklyn
May 23, 2012: OCA-NY leads delegation to D.C. to join OCA National, Asian American Justice Center and JACL to deliver over 9,000 birthday cards from 25 states and 9 countries to chairs of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee
May 24, 2012: To commemorate Danny’s 20th birthday, OCA-NY organizes a birthday salute featuring Asian-American artists and Danny's cousins performing at Pace High School where Danny attended. This event attracted over 350 people.
June 2012: OCA-NY’s 6th Hate Crimes Prevention Art Project begins with CYI, Sade Nash Leadership Project, and NYS Youth Leadership Council
July 13, 2012: OCA-NY enacted child’s version of Danny’s Story for Chinatown Head Start graduation ceremony where Danny attended
July 23-31, 2012: OCA-NY monitored first court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
U.S. v. Sgt. Holcomb convicted of two counts of maltreatment and assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail, a reduction in rank one level, and a fine of $1,181.55
Aug 9, 2012: Opening of 5th Annual Hate Crimes Prevention Art Exhibit, including art work inspired by Danny's death
Aug 11, 2012: In Chinatown’s Columbus Park, OCA-NY organized a rally with over 400 supporters to protest light sentence in U.S. v. Holcomb.
Aug 13-17, 2012: OCA-NY monitored second and third court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
U.S. v. Spc. Offutt –pled guilty to hazing and mistreating Private Danny Chen, sentenced to six months in prison, a demotion to private, and bad conduct discharge from the Army
U.S. v. Staff Sgt. Dugas- convicted of using alcohol in a combat zone and dereliction of duty for failing to supervise and monitor superiors’ “corrective training” of Private Danny Chen, sentenced to three months prison (credit for 90 days based on unlawful pretrial punishment) and reduction in rank one level
Aug 27-28, 2012: OCA-NY monitored fourth court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
U.S. v. Spc. Curtis- pled guilty to hazing, maltreatment, and assault, sentenced to three months in prison and demoted to a Private
September 2012: Launched campaign to mark one year anniversary of Danny’s death
Oct 3, 2012: OCA-NY organized Union Square Vigil to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, including National Call-in campaign to Secretary of Defense Leon Pannetta to Stop Hazing, Save Lives. Rest in Peace Private Danny Chen
Oct 12, 2012: OCA-NY is guest speaker at Harvard Law School
Nov 5-9, 2012: OCA-NY Monitored fifth court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
U.S. v. Sgt. Hurst convicted of dereliction of duty; sentenced to demotion of specialist, reprimand, and 45 days of hard labor
Nov 14-21, 2012: OCA-NY Monitored sixth court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
U.S. v. Staff Sgt. VanBockel convicted of hazing, dereliction of duty, and maltreatment; sentenced to reprimand, demotion of 2 ranks, and 60 day, with 45- day credit for pre-trial confinement.
December 18, 2012: After 1st Lt Schwartz's resignation is announced, OCA-NY holds 5th press conference to summarize results and reactions to all the courts-martial
January 2013: OCA-NY begins petitioning Manhattan’s Community Board 3 to co-name the corner of Canal St and Elizabeth St, where Danny grew up, “Danny Chen Way”
February 2013: OCA-NY initiates a petition to the Commander of Fort Wainwright, AK, where Danny’s unit was stationed, to have the four guilty soldiers who are still in the Army, to be “other than honorably discharged.”
Note: In summer 2012, U.S. v. Spc. Carden, was tried in a summary court martial which was closed to the public, but should have been open. After he pled guilty to hazing and maltreating Private Danny Chen, he was demoted one rank and forfeiture 2/3 of his pay for one month. A week later, he was in court again and sentenced to a bad conduct discharge for attempting to impede an investigation of Pvt. Danny Chen's case.
In mid-December, 1st Lt. Schwartz underwent an Article 15 administrative disciplinary proceeding in lieu of a court martial. This proceeding was not open to the public. As a result of this proceeding, he pled guilty to two counts of dereliction of duty and resigned from the Army.
*As the lead advocacy organization, OCA-NY would like to thank our coalition partners: Office of New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Chinatown Head Start, Fayetteville Chinese Association, Japanese American Citizens League-Washington, D.C. and NY Chapter, Asian American Justice Center-Washington, D.C., NAACP Northeast Chapter, Interfaith Center of NY, New York State Youth Leadership Council, Asian American Federation, Asian American Youth Center, One Spirit Learning Alliance, Sikh Coalition, Chhaya, CDC, New York State Youth Leadership Council, Local 23-25 Workers United, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, St. Marks in the Bowery, Veterans for Peace, Chinatown Youth Initiatives, East Coast Asian American Students Union, Asian American Research Institute, United East Athletic Association, Asian American Arts Centre, Asian Americans for Equality, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress-NY and NC, Asian Professional Extension, Brooklyn Technical High School Key Club, Chinese American Association of the City of New York, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Chinatown Partnership, Chinese Progressive Association, Japanese American Citizens League-NY Chapter, MFSO, Chong Lou USA Headquarter, Inc., Community Roots at NYU, Delta Lamda Phi at NYU, NYU A/P/A Institute, Dow San Association, Du Hu Association of America, Friends of Columbus Park, Families with Children from China, Fukien American Association, Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association of NY, HOY Sun High School Alumni Association, Korean Americans for Political Advancement, Local 23-25 Workers United, The Ma’s Association of NY, MinKwon Center for Community Action, OCA National Center, OCA-NJ, OCA-Westchester-Hudson Valley Chapter, OCA-Long Island, OCA-Seattle, OCA-Georgia, Taishan Duanfen High School Alumni Association, Taishan Friendship Association of NY, Taishan Overseas Chinese Middle School Alumni Association, Taishan Hoy Yin, Chung Law Association, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Baruch Asian and Pacific Heritage Month Committee, and Asian Alumni Group of CCNY, Alpha Phi Omega of Baruch, Buffalo University Asian American Students Association, Columbia University Asian American Student Alliance, and thousands of individuals.