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No charges for service members on video firing into Afghan civilian truck, report says

The U.S. Army said that the troops seen in video firing what has been determined to be a beanbag round into a civilian truck in Afghanistan won't be charged. (YouTube)
May 14, 2018

The U.S. Army will not charge the troops who were caught on video firing at the driver of a civilian truck in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Criminal Command told VICE News.

The original video, which has since been removed from YouTube, was titled “Happy Few Ordnance Symphony.”

Christopher Grey, Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, told VICE News that the investigation found the American troops acted “in accordance with the rules of engagement.” The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command did not get back to American Military News to confirm before press time.

An investigation into the video was launched in January after the video went viral online within the military community.

The video of the incident appeared in a compilation of combat footage allegedly recorded by U.S. service members fighting the ISIS offshoot of terrorists in Afghanistan.

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“Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command thoroughly investigated the incident depicted in the video,” Grey said. “That investigation is complete and it was determined there was no criminality.”

Grey said the round fired at the truck was not a bullet, but instead a beanbag round that is typically used to apprehend suspects without killing them.

“The U.S. troops acted in accordance with the rules of engagement,” Grey said. ”An Afghan driver ignored several warnings not to encroach on the U.S. convoy, so a nonlethal beanbag projectile was fired at the driver.”

It is still unknown if the driver of the truck was injured by the projectile and what military branch the service members who fired the projectile belonged to.

While the video was making its way around the military community online, Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Joseph Votel said the message conveyed in the video does not represent those who serve in CENTCOM.

“I can assure you that this video does not represent the professionalism or humanity of the men and women of U.S. Central Command. We reject the unprofessional and callous message this video conveys,” Votel said in a statement.

“I have reviewed the video and I am disappointed and also concerned that the American people, our Coalition partners, the Afghan government, and the Afghan people will believe that American service members are callous and indifferent to the horrors of war or the suffering of innocent people trapped in conflict,” he added.

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