• Parents want FAMU marching band disbanded after son's hazing death

    By: Manuel Bojorquez


    ATLANTA - The parents of a Florida A&M drum major killed in a hazing ritual said the school's band must be disbanded before someone else is hurt or killed.

    And their attorney made new allegations Thursday, saying he believes there was a "calculated conspiracy" to hide details of the death.

    "We have learned the alumni were communicating with students who were on that bus, telling them how to respond, what to say, what not to say," said attorney Christopher Chestnut.

    Robert Champion died after being beaten on a band bus in Orlando last November.

    Authorities said it was part of a hazing ritual of the FAMU marching band.

    "FAMU cannot go on with business as usual," said Pam Champion, the victim's mother. "They need to clean house, simply need to clean house."

    On Wednesday, prosecutors announced they were charging 13 with hazing for the incident.

    Champion's parents wanted harsher charges.

    "I did not get what I anticipated for my son's murder," his mother said.

    Chestnut believes part of the reason prosecutors can only seek the hazing charge is a loss of evidence.

    "This [investigation] has been botched from day one. That bus should have never left Orlando and it did," he said.

    He said the bus was allowed to take students back to FAMU instead of being seized as evidence.

    While band activities were suspended after Champion's death, his parents said the band needs to stop playing, until major changes are made at the university.

    The university has said it is working"vigorously" to eradicate hazing.

    The Champions have already filed suit against the company which owned the bus in which the beating happened.

    They have also filed a notice of intent to sue the school.

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    Parents want FAMU marching band disbanded after son's hazing death