FAMU Band Members Say Robert Champion Wanted To Be Hazed
A Florida A&M University drum major who died after enduring a school hazing ritual aboard a bus decided to go through with the rite in order to earn respect, band members said in court documents released Wednesday.
“It’s like a respect thing,” said defendant Jonathan Boyce, who noted that Robert Champion “was wanting to do it all season.”
Champion, 26, died last year because of “hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, due to blunt force trauma,” the Orange County medical examiner said.
More than 2,000 pages of police interviews with witnesses and defendants who were aboard the bus on the day of Champion’s death paint a picture of a darkened bus where three band members, including Champion, were hazed.
Multiple witnesses say that Champion was forced to walk, shirtless, from the front of the bus to the back while being beaten with drum sticks, bass drum mallets, punches and kicks.
Champion is thought to have died after taking part in a rite of passage called “Crossing Bus C,” in which students “walk from the front of the bus to the back of the bus backward while the bus is full of other band members.”
These kids seem to show little to no remorse for their actions.
Band member Harold Finley, who has been charged in connection with Champion’s death, and Evan Calhoun, then a second-year percussion student who has not been charged, noted that the hazing ritual wasn’t obligatory.
“If you want to be there, you’re there; if you’re not, you’re not,” Calhoun said in the deposition. “Nobody forces you.”
The nerve of this lil muhfugga! You KILLED somebody! We don’t care what anybody says hazing is wack, even more so when it comes from some lame a$$ band geeks!
Images via AP