A judge has dismissed a lawsuit over the 2016 death of a Marine recruit on Parris Island.
The case stems from 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui’s death at the Marine basic training installation. An NCIS investigation found Siddiqui jumped off a stairwell after particularly egregious abuse at the hands of a drill instructor. A military jury last year found that drill instructor guilty of hitting, choking or kicking around a dozen recruits; of being drunk and disorderly and of making false statements to investigators.
According to the Associated Press, Federal Judge Arthur Tarnow expressed “strong reservations” on Tuesday, but said he must follow legal precedent which does not allow litigation for military deaths.
The family did receive a half-million dollars in death benefits and insurance, but the judge agreed it did not address their complaints.
Investigators said Siddiqui, a Michigan native of Pakistani descent, was often targeted because of his ethnicity. According to the formal Marines report, Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix forced Siddiqui to run sprints in the squadbay barracks in March 2016 because he had not properly sounded off when requesting permission for a medical visit. Witnesses said Siddiqui collapsed during the sprints and Felix yelled at him to get back up, even slapping him at one point. Drill instructors are not allowed to strike recruits. Siddiqui suddenly jumped to his feet and ran to the building’s stairwell, where he jumped to his death.