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Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan

Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc. Adam Jarrell’s claims of racial discrimination. Jarrell, who is African American, claims that while deployed in Afghanistan with the New Mexico National Guard, he was subject to systemic racial discrimination: the worst incident happened when he found a noose outside his sleeping quarters.

More from the Alamogordo Daily News:

Lt. Col. Jamison Herrera, a spokesman for the New Mexico Army National Guard, said an internal investigation into Jarrell’s complaints was still going on.

“We have been and are continuing to look into this,” Herrera said Wednesday in an interview.

Pearce said in a statement that he was frustrated by the slow pace of the National Guard’s investigation.

“I have been patiently waiting for a report from the New Mexico National Guard since these facts were communicated to me earlier this year,” Pearce said in a letter to Cronin Byrd, inspector general of the National Guard Bureau in Washington. “But no substantial response, formal or informal, has been forthcoming. At this point I have no choice but to request that National Guard bureau inspector general look into the situation and report back to Congress.”

Jarrell has been a member of the National Guard since 2006 and has received numerous decorations, including two Army commendation medals, an Afghan Campaign Medal, a Combat Action Badge and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

The ACLU said he feared retaliatory attempts by the Army to discharge him because of his complaints.

In one instance, the ACLU said in its complaint, Army National Guard members mentioned discharging Jarrell because he is allergic to bee stings. The ACLU said the Army was well aware of his medical condition when it deployed him to war zones.

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