Florida A&M student beaten to death in hazing ritual he thought was an honor…


Robert Champion (pictured above), was severely beaten in a hazing incident which took place Nov. 19, 2011. A ritual that’s rampant in the Florida A&M University marching band. Champion was vying to be lead drum major and wanted the respect he could earn by enduring a brutal ritual known as “crossing over.”

The 26-year-old was found unresponsive on board a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel after the school’s football team lost to rival Bethune-Cookman college.

Investigators believe Champion was punched and pummeled repeatedly on board the bus by other band members in a hazing incident gone horribly wrong. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that Champion vomited and struggled to breathe before he collapsed. Champion had bruises to his chest, arms, shoulder and back and internal bleeding that caused him to go into shock, which killed him.

Immediately after the hazing, Champion complained of thirst (due to loss of blood internally) and fatigue, then loss of vision and signs of shock, the report said.

Champion’s death is the latest in a history of injurious hazing incidents at the historically black college. In 2001, Florida A&M University band member Marcus Parker suffered kidney damage after being beaten with a paddle “around 300 times,” investigators reported.

And three weeks before Champion’s death on Nov. 19, a female band member’s thigh bone was broken when she was severely beaten. Three male band members were arrested in that incident.

Champion’s parents, Robert and Pam Champion, Sr. (pictured below), have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Florida A&M University’s board of directors, which the family says has covered up a “culture of hazing” at the school for many years.

Thirteen band members have been charged with causing Champion’s death on Nov. 19. Eleven defendants face a count of third-degree felony hazing, and two others have been charged with misdemeanors. The team has been suspended at least until next year, and its director resigned earlier this month.

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60 thoughts on “Florida A&M student beaten to death in hazing ritual he thought was an honor…

    • Yeah this happened last year.

      Stry’s kinda old @Trace.
      ________________________

      YES!!! but….the parents are getting their “due Justice” now.

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    • Yeah this happened last year.

      Stry’s kinda old @Trace.
      ________________________

      it’s never too late thou.

      Like

    • Yeah this happened last year.

      Stry’s kinda old @Trace.
      ************************

      So don’t read it Tammy.

      Like

  1. Amazing that this hazing was going on despite earlier incidents. Who was “in charge”?

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  2. WHY do these sick students brutalize other students…and WHY do any of them think its an HONOR??? Wow.

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  3. This is so terribly disheartening. I cannot begin to imagine the pain felt by Mr. Champion’s parents, extended family and friends. I just don’t understand it. Sad. 😦

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  4. I’m glad the university is taking action.
    Sadly, there is no action strong enough … he is gone and not coming back. Charge them all with murder!

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  5. Yea, he “crossed over” alright, “crossed over” into another world. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys who beat Mr. Champion knew he was gay, so they just used that opportunity to inflict intense pain and suffering on him.

    They viciously beat him to death. Just being mean and hateful individuals. I wouldn’t send my kid to that substandard university. SMDH

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    • I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys who beat Mr. Champion knew he was gay,
      —————-
      Oh he was gay? The story doesn’t say that and i read it the whole thing.

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    • wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys who beat Mr. Champion knew he was gay,
      —————-
      Oh he was gay? The story doesn’t say that and i read it the whole thing.
      ~~~~~~~~~
      I read other stories about this that said he was gay that’s how I know. His parents also confirmed that. so…

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    • Oh he was gay? The story doesn’t say that and i read it the whole thing.
      ————–
      Gay or not doesn’t justify the killing of this student.

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  6. Hazing? WTF!!!
    To beat a person to death like this requires a lot of anger and hatred. wow..just wow.

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  7. It doesn’t really matter if none of the students involved in the hazing were aware of the consequences, but for their actions, he would be alive. He agreed to be stupid, not be killed. The level of savagery and mob mentality took over, they are ALL guilty IMO.

    This is so sad and unfortunate.

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  8. I hope Florida A&M cancel the damn band PERIOD!!!!!!
    For the remainder of the year my ass!!!! They need to send a strong message to this dumb and dangerous tradition that murder, um, hazing, is not/and will not be tolerated.

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  9. For some reason black children have a lot of anger in them. Even black adults. I tend to stay away from these sorts of people. They grow up, but the anger never abates, as they bring issues that shouldn’t be in the work place or other venues with them.

    They raise their children to be very angry people who seem to have issues with understanding the varying viewpoints, backgrounds, and cultures of other black people.

    For some reason, being quick to anger, slandering people, and constantly looking for a quick thrill (although it may end in someone’s ruined reputation or death) seems to be the “black America” that they identify with most.

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  10. Hazing is more common than we think. Especially in the fraternity and sorority communities. Why beat someone just because he or she wants to be part of an organization..? It’s disgusting and feeble minded IMO. Sad 😦

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  11. To quote Vanessa Bell Calloway in “What’s Love Got to do With It?,”…….

    “IT’S NOT OKAY TO LET SOME MUTHAFUKKA POUND ON YOU!!!!!”

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  12. It’s a damn shame when folks are willing to take physical, emotional or psychological injury just to “fit in” or be a part of the crowd. Folks do what you allow, and the minute you allow them to do some shit like that, you tell them you value their liking/wanting you more than your own self.

    Send all these kids to college for book smarts and most of them leave with less common sense then when they got there.

    R.I.P. to the young man, but come on!!! You already made the band when the damned director picked you…WTF you got to get your azz beat to prove something for?

    Does Florida have the death penalty? All those who participated in his hazing should be injected. Fuck em. They can haze plenty in hell next to Satan.

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    • Does Florida have the death penalty?
      _____________

      HELL you in Florida ain’t you? You tell us do they?

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  13. I agree with Roland Martin the culture of hazing will NOT end until students make it STOP. As long as they have the mentality “if I went through it then so are you” nothing is going to stop sadly. People have been arrested/put in jail/thrown out of school/had their letters taken away/chapters kicked off the yard yet hazing still continues. The Delta’s at WSSU are OFF the yard for 10 yrs due to hazing smh.

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  14. Hazing starts and stops with the students. Even with all of this going on at FAMU students were on the news just last wk saying the hazing is still on going in the band.

    This FAMU case is just so sad. I wish at 26 he would have spoken up for himself and refused to be hazed. God Bless his family

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  15. This is such a sad story. I dont know why these college folks will let someone beat up on them just to be part of some organization that they still pay hell of money to be in.

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  16. This is such a sad story. I dont know why these college folks will let someone beat up on them just to be part of some organization that they still pay hell of money to be in.

    May he Rest in Peace!

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  17. It’s not just a “Black” thing or a “Black sorority/fraternity” thing. You just don’t hear about all the hundreds of “other” students this happens to. It’s sad and hopefully this young man’s death will set a precedant of hos this shouldn’t be happening period!

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  18. I heard they beat him because he dropped his stick while marching and they did it to teach him a lesson. I don’t know if that’s true or not but R.I.P. to the young man.

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  19. Sad!
    Hazing needs to stop by all parties period, no matter the organization or race of participants.

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  20. He walked down the bus aisle voluntarily for the beat down to get into an elite band group. Hazing is ridiculous, I got my hair pulled out by some of my sorors, earrings snatched out all to be a part of a gang of dumb broads. Make it a felony offense on both sides and hopefully this will scare the living daylights out of their murderous tactics.

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  21. People know what the deal is when they walk through the door!! If you are not built for it stay far away or go GRAD!!!! Did they take it too far–YES!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. it’s a sad, sad situation and sometimes things get out of control. These individuals should step up and said that they were a part of the homicide!!

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  23. This situation is so sad. To be beaten to death…..SENSELESS!
    😦 I hope this young man R.I.P. and that his family find some sort of peace!

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  24. What were these people thinking? Broken thigh bones and killing people, wow. ehough is enough with this kind of rights of passage. How unfortunate for this young man’s family. Just sad.

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  25. This is so senseless I swear.
    He agreed to getting his ass beat so he can be the damn “lead drum major” now he leading the band in heaven. Damn shame!!! He should not have felt he had something to prove because what he did was fatal in the end. Just dumb!

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    • stories like this piss me off cause the death/killing could have been avoided.
      ——-
      Cosign

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