A big document dump

May 24, 2012

Prosecutors in the Robert Champion case have just released thousands of pages of interview transcripts and other documents. Reporters who have seen the stuff say it offers by far the most detailed account yet of what went down in those fateful hours after last November’s Florida Classic.

The AP’s Kyle Hightower writes:

Robert Champion was known for his opposition to the hazing rampant in the Florida A&M University marching band, but he was vying to be lead drum major and wanted the respect he could earn by enduring a brutal ritual known as “crossing over.” With chances for initiation ending with the football season, fellow band members say, Champion agreed to run through a bus lined with people kicking and beating him with drumsticks, mallets and fists.

The decision would be fatal.

Interviews with defendants in Champion’s killing and other band members released Wednesday paint the most detailed picture yet of what happened the night he died last November. They also offer some insight into why Champion, whose parents and friends say he was a vocal opponent of hazing, finally relented and got aboard “Bus C”… Champion was seeking the top position in the famed marching band, leading dozens who had already endured the hazing ritual… Some felt the leadership position had to be earned.

More than anything, it sounds like the documents do an exquisite job of showing how dumb and far and from glamorous hazing ultimately is.

Unfortunately, it seems for now that summations like Hightower’s are all that’s practical for most people to see, since there’s no link yet to full digital versions of the documents on the Web. But we’ll be sure to post the link later, whenever it’s available.

In the meantime, if you’ve found one, or if you have the docs at hand, please let us know. We’re also glad to upload and host a copy here.

[UPDATE: T]he website of Central Florida News 13, a local cable outlet, included links to the full set of documents in the sidebar to its recent story on the Champion case.]

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One Response to “A big document dump”

  1. What4 Says:

    Two band members were quoted as saying it’s a respect thing, and it’s about love. We must be speaking a different language here.


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