(KTSF by Jo Wan)
Following a series of high-profile hazing incidents endured by members of the U.S. Armed Services, Rep. Judy Chu held a press conference today, requesting a hearing on the military’s hazing and harassment prevention policies.
Last April, 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Harry Lew who is Chu’s nephew died amid allegations that hazing and aggressive treatment caused his death. Since then, a number of similar cases, including that of Pvt. Danny Chen of New York, have raised questions about the effectiveness of the military’s efforts to prevent such tragedies.
Last Monday Hawaii-based Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby admitted in a special court-martial that he punched and kicked Harry Lew. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors withdrew charges that Jacoby humiliated and threatened Lew. He was sentenced to 30 days confinement and his pay was cut. Carmen Lew, sister of Harry Lew said their family are very disappointed by the sentencing.
Chu along with 12 other members of Congress, sent a letter on Jan. 20 to the House Armed Services Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requesting a hearing on the military’s hazing and harassment prevention policies.
Chu says, “The highest military officials must make eliminating hazing a top priority. They must stop pretending there is no problem. None of this will change until the Secretary of Defense commits to eradicate the culture of hazing that is so ingrained within our troops.”
Rep. Mike Honda added, “There is no doubt that the Lew and Chen families feel betrayed by our military, and I am sure this is the same for many other families and communities. We must restore that trust for their sake and for all of our military families.”
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