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New Documents: Hazing Accepted in FAMU Band

May 30, 2012 | WMFE - New documents released today in the case of a Florida A&M drum major who died after being beaten by fellow band members are shedding light on what happened to Robert Champion. Witness statements indicate that brutal hazing rituals were an "open secret" among band members.

FAMU band members say they understood that completion of the hazing ritual was necessary to be accepted into the inner circle of the band’s elite percussion section.

That’s according to arrest affidavits released today by the State Attorney's Office in Orlando. 26-year-old Robert Champion died in November after he was beaten aboard a band bus after the Marching 100 performed at a football game in Orlando.

Eleven band members are charged with felony hazing. Two others face misdemeanor charges.

Champion’s family says he opposed hazing. But he was also in line to be the band's top drum major and, band members say, he volunteered for the hazing in order to gain respect and advance in the band.


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