FAMU Hazing Death was "Conspiracy" Cover Up, Claim Parents
Family calls for marching band to be suspended from performing
The parents of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, who died from a hazing attack in November, alleged today there was a “conspiracy” covering up their son’s death.
“We have learned that there was a calculated conspiracy to cover up Robert Champion's murder," the family’s attorney Christopher Chestnut said at a news conference today in Atlanta. "We have heard that alumni were communicating with students on that bus, telling them how to respond, what to say, what not to say in order to ensure that no one would be arrested and charged for murder. That is simply inexcusable."
Chestnut requested that the FAMU marching band be suspended from performing until further notice. He charged the university with neglecting the seriousness of the matter, saying, “There’s been no changes in policies and procedures. The band director has not been indefinitely terminated. The administration has not made any adjustments.”
The accusations follow recent charges brought against 13 individuals involved in Champion’s death. Chestnut said the family was “distraught” and “disappointed” that it took so long.
"It did not take five months to figure out who murdered Robert Champion. This is not a murder mystery," said Chestnut. "There is no excuse for the lack of accountability."
Champion died on a bus parked outside an Orlando Hotel following a performance. The autopsy conducted after his death found "extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back," as well as "evidence of crushing of areas of subcutaneous fat" -- which is the fatty tissue directly under a person's skin. The Judge ruled his death a homicide.
“There is a threat to the students, not only at Florida AM University, but there is a threat to students all over, because this is a very dangerous precedent, that they would stand to cover up a cold blooded murder.”