12 former Florida A&M band members suspected in having a role in the beating death of 26-year-old Robert Champion have been charge with manslaughter, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
Christopher Chestnut, representing attorney for the Champion family, said the family applauded Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton’s “courage in amending these charges to be more [commensurate] with the heinous crime committed,” the Sentinel reports.
The death of Florida A&M marching band member Robert Champion exposed a secret culture within the Historically Black College University marching bands. It inevitably sparked a huge outcry on issue of hazing and prompted many to push for reform in the band groups.
Champion, 26, died Nov. 19, 2011 from “hemorrhagic shock” and “blunt force trauma” after sustaining multiple blows to his body, according to an autopsy report obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.
FAMU has been fervent in their mission to promote anti-hazing ever since Champion’s untimely demise. The university has increased awareness of anti-hazing policy and initiatives.
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