FAMU Hazing Charges Expected in Drum Major’s Death
(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Criminal charges are expected to be filed Wednesday against members of the Florida A&M University marching band who were involved in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion last November.
Champion, 26, was a member of the college’s famed “Marching 100” band when he collapsed and died Nov. 19 on a bus parked outside an Orlando, Fla., hotel after a football game. The death was ruled a homicide and police said hazing contributed to his death.
An autopsy revealed that he died of internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma. Officials said that he had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back.
The charges will be announced at a news conference at the state attorney’s office Wednesday following a six-month investigation.
Some band members have said that Champion died after participating in a rite of passage called “crossing bus C,” a ritual where new band members are beaten as they walk from the back to the front of the bus.
Four students were dismissed from the university after Champion’s death, but were later reinstated pending the investigation’s completion. The school’s band director Julian White was fired, but later reinstated and put on administrative leave.
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