Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

13 charged in Florida A&M University band member's hazing death

The charges came more than five months after Robert Champion died aboard a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a performance against a rival school.

Image

In this 2011 photo, Robert Champion, a drum major in Florida A&M University's Marching 100 band, performs during halftime of a football game in Orlando, Fla.

Joseph Brown III/The Tampa Tribune/AP/File

About these ads

Thirteen people were charged Wednesday in one of the biggest college hazing cases ever prosecuted in the U.S., accused in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major who authorities say was mercilessly pummeled by fellow members of the marching band.

The charges came more than five months after Robert Champion, 26, died aboard a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a performance against a rival school.

The most sensational cases of hazing —or endurance rituals to which prospective members of an organization are subjected — have typically involved fraternities, sororities or athletic teams, but the FAMU tragedy in November exposed a brutal tradition among marching bands at a number of colleges around the U.S.

"The death ... is nothing short of an American tragedy," said State Attorney Lawson Lamar. "No one should have expected that his college experience would include being pummeled to death."

Champion's death has jeopardized the future of FAMU's legendary marching band, which has performed at the Grammys, presidential inaugurations and Super Bowls and represented the U.S. in Paris at the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. FAMU, based in Tallahassee, has suspended the band and set up a task force on curtailing hazing.

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...