Thirteen charged in death of gay Florida A&M University drum major

Robert Champion Jr. died after being pummeled in hazing ritual

Thirteen charged in death of gay Florida A&M University drum major
03 May 2012

Five months after Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion Jr. died following a pummeling by fellow members of the marching band, 13 people have been charged in his death.

The death of the 26-year-old Champion, who was gay, has brought about a focus on college hazing rituals. The beating took place aboard a chartered bus parked outside of a Orlando hotel after a performance.

Eleven are charged with hazing resulting in death which is a felony. Two others  face misdemeanor charges. The felony and misdemeanor offenses could result in nearly six years in prison if convicted.

More serious charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter were not pursued.

‘I thought it should send a harsher message,’ the victim’s mother, Pam Champion, said in an interview with CNN after the charges were announced.

State Attorney Lawson Lamar told the Associated Press that the investigation did not find evidence to support as charge of murder.

‘We can prove participation in hazing and a death,’ he said. ‘We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion.’

Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died of internal bleeding while still on the bus.

‘The death … is nothing short of an American tragedy, Lamar said. ‘No one should have expected that his college experience would include being pummeled to death.’

Witnesses have said the victim might have been targeted because he opposed the routine hazing that went on in the marching band or because he was gay.



No thumbnail available

Two US gay men left blind after being infected with rare strain of syphilis

  Health officials are calling on Washington single gay men to get checked as soon as possible  
No thumbnail available

Italy charges six gay activists for kissing

Police say their 'long and passionate' kisses 'disgusted' passersby
No thumbnail available

Nigeria does about-face on gay married diplomats

Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry has denied reports that the West African nation would allow diplomats to serve in the country who were in same-sex marriages – contradicting its own minister
No thumbnail available

70 protestors arrested at France anti-gay marriage camp

Police have arrested ‘dozens’ of anti-gay protestors setting up a campsite outside the National Assembly near the banks of the Seine river in France
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

UK’s first gay marriage could take place two weeks earlier

Gay couples where one partner is terminally ill or due to leave for military service can apply to marry as soon a law comes into effect on 13 March
No thumbnail available

Facebook page for indigenous LGBTI Canadians launched

A gay Inuit Canadian man has launched a Facebook page in support of LGBTI indigenous Canadians after two Inuit politicians complained about the raising of a rainbow gay pride flag
No thumbnail available

Tasmanian intersex discrimination plans hailed as ‘world first’

Australian state is set to specifically include intersex people in its anti-discrimination laws in what is believed to be a world first
No thumbnail available

Rapper Azealia Banks considers herself bisexual

Harlem artist says: 'I don’t live on other people’s terms'
No thumbnail available

Trans, non-binary students protest biased new UK university admission rules

Students of all gender identities are celebrating after UCAS chooses to change their rules that could have arguably violated the Equality Act