FAMU Hazing Death: 'Not a Hate Crime'

Robert Champion's family thinks retaliation, not sexual orientation, was factor.
2:36 | 01/10/12

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Transcript for FAMU Hazing Death: 'Not a Hate Crime'
I'm Christopher chestnut and transformed. Champion family. We hear that announcement this morning regarding some of the facts we have found. The independence of an investigation. Surrounding circumstances. Involving the death of their son November 19 Robert champion. We found course and officially. There are preliminary investigation. Confirmation that. Indeed it wasn't hazing ritual our investigation to date suggests from the woods and spoke to Robert -- and -- more severely than other. Folks on Wednesday evening. In large -- to a -- to its its retaliatory retaliatory not found that Robert -- -- himself with the move but we -- as he may have -- -- opinion is more severely. Because it was a stickler for the rules. Because. In a culture of hazing you kind of have to subscribe to it. Robert champion was the poster child anti hazing. And so he threatened the very institution of hazing in this band because he showed that you can. Particularly if you. He promoted to rapidly and probably it to the very top post which is drum majors without subjecting yourself are subscribing to hazing. And so consequently. We've learned that perhaps one of the motives may have been. It is -- out. You believe they looked up. He was -- more severely also possibly because of the sexuality. Robert. It did have an alternative lifestyle -- -- -- have a sexual orientation. From what we have learned from witnesses that was not primary factor in May have come into place is difficult to know the true motives of every person. So if we heard from witnesses have -- been rumors about it yes. You know there's even in a statement released seen by the band directed. Which is shocked this man. Which is basically not -- -- Robert -- Aaron Barrett. That is reason that he was -- but in an attempt to exonerate the band and have been administration. For there. Negligence. Their part in Roberts isn't -- it -- because of essential orientation this is a hate crime. This is not a hate crime this is -- hazing and that's what -- here to -- today we -- -- the record very clear. That. And you as a fifty year history and culture. In this band of -- this is not a hate crime. That he was a leader of the band that he was against hazing. But he was a peaceful person that he was a leader.

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