Police in Orange County, Florida confirmed that illegal hazing is to blame in the wrongful death of Robert Champion at Florida A&M University, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Champion was a drum major for the university’s band. Several parents of band members have been complaining about verbal and physical abuse lately, according to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
Champion collapsed on the team bus following a performance at halftime of a football game. He died at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. Felicia Fabre, mother of a student in the band, has been calling attention to the dangerous climate around the band since August. She shared emails she sent to the school with the Orlando Sentinel.
“”These practices[s] MUST STOP and they will not until someone stands up and some changes are made,” she wrote in an email to Band directors Julian White and Ralph Turner. “I feel because of love, calling and duty I must not only speak up for my son, but also for the students who are being belittled and mistreated and feel they do not have a voice.”
“Any death that occurs as a result of hazing is a third-degree felony,” says Demings.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A—Orlando wrongful death attorneys.