TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida authorities investigating the death of a Florida A&M University drum major say they have uncovered possible employee fraud and misconduct at the school.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent letters Tuesday to the head of the FAMU board and the head of the state university system, telling them investigators had uncovered potential violations of law as part of the probe into what is believed to be the hazing death of a Marching 100 band member. Robert Champion died Nov. 19 after a marching band performance at a football game.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/1...#ixzz1gX58HR5N
not sure if this is related or not
iirc the group that was doing a lot of hazing at famu was the red dogs (GA)... so not sure if this is related but found it interesting nonethelessThe DeKalb County School System announced Wednesday it is suspending all marching band activities while an investigation of possible inappropriate activities among high school band members, alumni advisors, band directors and others surrounding DeKalb Schools high school marching bands is conducted.
This bee my opinion
http://www.11alive.com/news/article/...and-activitiesRobert Champion, the FAMU drum major who died last month due to suspected hazing, was an alumni of Southwest DeKalb High School. Another Southwest DeKalb alum is suing over alleged hazing in FAMU's Marching 100 band. One of three FAMU band members arrested for hazing this week also went to the same high school.
This bee my opinion
http://www.ajc.com/news/marching-ban...n-1260144.htmlSystem spokesman Walter Woods said officials started asking questions at Southwest DeKalb High School because of connections to alleged hazing incidents at FAMU. Robert Champion, the FAMU band member who died, and another member, Bria Shante Hunter, who was injured, graduated from Southwest DeKalb. Two of three FAMU band members charged with injuring Hunter also hailed from the high school.
The system investigation unearthed some troubling finds, Woods said. He was not willing to disclose their nature yet.
This bee my opinion
From what I've read, hazing with the band at FAMU has been going on for years. But it seems there is a connection with the HS band members have attended as well? WTH??!!
Makes you wonder what is really going on at FAMU...fraud and now out of state HS connections?
Here's another one:
Our cameras were rolling when two of the three men were released on bond Tuesday.
Officers say the students are members of Red Dawg Order, which is a subgroup formed by students for band members who are from Georgia.
McGuire says there are several organizations, or "regional frats" within the band.
Red Dawg Order is even a registered incorporated company and has spread nationwide to colleges with large marching bands.
Ricky Jones, director of the Center on Race and Inequality at the University of Louisville and an expert on hazing, said he had not heard of a case where a female had been beaten by males.
"This doesn't mean it's a first," he said. Since the band and its various groups admit men and women, mixed gender hazing might not be uncommon, Jones said.
The group that police say Bria Hunter was participating in was started in Tallahassee. Reports show that the Red Dawg Order originated with the Marching 100.
This organization was founded on December 18, 1994 in Tallahassee. A website says the basis for the organization is to establish unity, sisterhood and brotherhood for band members from Georgia at many different colleges.
Red Dawg Order originated at Florida A&M University and spread from there.
Deliver me from their version of brother and sisterhood! Will be interesting to see what Woods 'troubling finds' are...
(CNN) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott met late Thursday with a group of several hundred Florida A&M students upset over his recommendation that trustees suspend the school's president in the wake of alleged hazing and "financial irregularities."
Chanting "We've got questions. You've got answers," the students marched to the governor's mansion, promising to stay until Scott changed his mind.
My goodness, what a hornets nest they've opened!
Wow, three of my children were in marching band the entire time they went to hs. They didn't persue it in college, and I tried to encourage they keep it up. I'm glad they didn't now. I've never heard of hazing in band?!
What happened to being there to march, play, and just have fun!?
This looks like it's going to be a never-ending story.
An autopsy has ruled the death of 26-year-old FAMU drum major Robert Champion a homicide due to blunt trauma he suffered in a hazing incident, the medical examiner said today.
According to the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office, an autopsy "revealed extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder, and back with extensive hemorrhage."
Though there were no broken bones or damage to Champion's internal organs, the autopsy found evidence of "a significant rapid blood loss" due to the injuries he suffered.
Uh Oh, looks like someone(s) in big trouble!
FAMU head keeps job during hazing death probe
Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...#ixzz1h7cFuMM0
The university's board of trustees on Monday rejected a call by Gov. Rick Scott that James Ammons be suspended.
(CNN) -- A final autopsy report released Wednesday shows that Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion Jr. suffered muscle damage commonly seen in such events as car accidents, prolonged seizures, child abuse and torture, an expert said.
The alleged fatal beating suffered last month by Champion, 26, during a marching band hazing must have been brutal, two experts said.
"His muscles were beaten so badly that they were destroyed like you would see in a heart attack," Dr. Howard Oliver, a forensic pathologist who is a former deputy medical examiner in the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, told CNN after reviewing the autopsy findings.
Band bus a complex crime scene, expert says
The damaged muscles leaked out a protein called myoglobin, "and it's too much for the kidneys to process. It causes the kidneys to fail," which results in death, Oliver said.
The muscle damage is called rhabdomyolysis, Oliver said.
They know who did this and I hope every one of them is charged with murder...agree about the band...popular or not, if they can't control the people in it who are beating members like this, and the girl that was injured, it needs to go.
How investigators might approach FAMU death
More than a month after the death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, investigators are still piecing together what happened that night aboard the band's charter bus. Their work will determine who among the busload of band members will be held responsible for his death.
"They have to take a look at all of the evidence and all of the statements and decide who is going to be charged, and what are they going to be charged with."
Could more than 30 people be charged with murder?
"Yeah, you could, and that's going to be a decision between investigators and the prosecutor's office," Brooks said.
More at link...
FAMU Student’s Death Leads To Anti-Hazing Bill
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – In the wake of the hazing related death of a Florida A&M University marching band member earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson plans to introduce a federal anti-hazing bill when Congress returns from its holiday break.
And the deceased was a large man too. To be beat up as severely as he apparently was wouldn't be that easy (most people don't die from a beating)-and that's hazing? Boggles the mind.
Just my opinion
Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion was gay, which may have been one reason why he was beaten so severely during a hazing attack in Orlando last semester, the Champion family's attorney said Tuesday.
Attorney Christopher Chestnut, speaking at a news conference with Champion's parents in Orlando, said the family came forward to discuss their son's sexuality because rumors had been swirling that the 26-year-old student was hazed specifically because of his "alternative lifestyle."
Four FAMU band members charged with hazing
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/2...#storylink=cpy
TALLAHASSEE -- Four members of Florida A&M’s famed Marching 100 band were arrested on charges of hazing late Thursday.
The charges stem from a separate event than the Nov. 19 incident in which drum major Robert Champion died from injuries he sustained from a severe beating after a rivalry football game.
The students — Hakeem Birch, Brandon Benson, Anthony Mingo and Denise Bailey — belonged to a subgroup for clarinetists known as the “Clones,” according to an arrest warrant.
Five band members who wanted to pledge the Clones showed up to a Tallahassee residence, home to roommates Benson and Birch, on around Sept. 1, FAMU police said.
More at link...
ACLU Head Questions FAMU's Ban on Student Groups
Tallahassee, FL (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is criticizing Florida A&M University's decision to cancel a summer band camp and block students from joining clubs during a hazing investigation.
State ACLU executive director Howard Simon says the move violates students' first amendment rights. He's made a public records request to school President James Ammons for an explanation on the bans announced earlier this week.
Simon says the right for students to gather and discuss various issues must be protected.
Ammons said Tuesday that he's cancelling a summer band camp and temporarily blocking students from joining clubs while the university reviews how those groups operate. The band has come under scrutiny as a probe continues into the hazing-related death of a band member in November.
Prosecuting the Champion hazing case could be 'nightmare'
The investigation into the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion is reaching a crucial point as detectives prepare to send Orange County prosecutors their official findings after interviewing more than 50 witnesses.
No one from State Attorney Lawson Lamar's office would discuss details, but legal experts and former prosecutors said the case will be a "nightmare" to sort out because of all of the potential suspects — perhaps 20 or more — who either took part or might have encouraged the brutal beating Champion suffered.
The lead prosecutor will be seasoned homicide attorney Ken Lewis, who has worked on several high-profile murder trials, including that of millionaire developer James Robert "Bob" Ward, found guilty in September of shooting his wife in the face in their Isleworth mansion.
Veteran prosecutors such as Jerry Blair do not envy Lewis.
The Champion case will be especially tough, said Blair, who prosecuted serial killer Ted Bundy. The state, he said, will need to prove who did what aboard the bus that night — using witnesses who are part of a tight-knit group and many of whom probably participated in the hazing themselves.
For instance, some prosecutors take a case to a grand jury simply because it's a matter of "great public interest" — typically those involving elected officials or public institutions or have attracted a lot of media attention. If nothing else, going that route sometimes helps ensure the integrity of a prosecution.
Blair said he would go that route if he were prosecuting the Champion case.
"I think a review by an independent body of 21 people provides some public credibility for the decision-making process that is often absent when a single prosecutor makes a decision," he said, adding that the public would be more likely to accept a decision made by a grand jury, whatever that might be.
More at link....
I was just thinking the same thing. If you have a bus full of suspects that allegedly hit this guy and therefore potentially contributed to his demise that might be very difficult to prosecute just because of number of suspects alone. That's probably why there have been no charges so far.
Hopefully they can manage to charge and prosecute though.
Just my opinion
Robert Champion Case Goes to Prosecutors
........Late this afternoon, the Orange County Sheriff's Office turned over the findings of its investigation to the state attorney there. ...........
A spokeswoman for state attorney Lawson Lamar says they will not comment on the possible outcome of the case or release any public records right now.
Note: The links are only official notices that the report was sent and received.