Criminal charges to be filed in alleged FAMU hazing death
Florida A&M University student and band drum major Robert Champion, 26, died November 19.
May 1st, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Criminal charges to be filed in alleged FAMU hazing death

Criminal charges are expected to be filed Wednesday in Orlando, Florida, in the suspected hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, a law enforcement source close to the investigation told CNN.

Some FAMU band members have said Champion died last November after taking part in an annual rite of passage called "Crossing Bus C."

The crossing the bus ritual is an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.

Champion collapsed in Orlando on the bus, which was carrying members of FAMU's Marching 100 after a November football game that included a halftime performance by the group.

The medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide and said Champion "collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body."

An autopsy 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 the skin.

The death prompted the FAMU board of trustees to approve a new three-part anti-hazing plan, which includes an independent panel of experts to investigate.

Post by:
Filed under: Florida
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. banasy ©

    I don't know that i would call it •only• manslughter; but I get the gist of what you are saying.
    I don't think there was any plan to beat this man to death.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Always USAF

    When is this type of cruel hazing going to stop!? We had a hazing in the drum & bugle corps I was in but it was ALL none violent. Be real. These are friendships that will last a lifetime. They should be good memories.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • band member


      May 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shyra

    I'm sure the participants who participated in this "hazing" didn't expect it to end in death. However, they should have used their common sense that those actions could lead to harm. I don't believe there's anything wrong w/ hazing as long as its unharmful & not embarrassing to the individual. Because these individuals were irresponsible now FAMU must take the responsibility. You can't really blame the school because the school can't monitor the actions of young adults 24/7. I'm sure they weren't aware of the "hazing" being so violent. If the students were asked about the "hazing" BEFORE the incident, I'm sure the would make it so innocent.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Whatsup?


    May 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OrganizedConfusion

    Now Jimmy, that's not a very nice thing to say, is it? I'm guessing mom and dad failed to teach you how to be kind to your fellow man and woman or function in the word you live in? Poor Jimmy... Good luck with that...

    May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Sorry, all, for my absence. Forgot to replace the kitty litter and now the trailer really stinks! Anywho … good to see you all fighting the fight! Obama’s great, Romney is bad, socialism good, capitalism bad.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
1 2