Tallahassee, Florida media sources are reporting a second alleged hazing victim has come forward at Florida A&M University, telling a local TV station that she was rushed to an emergency room after being hazed just days before band member Robert Champion died in Orlando.
According to the AJC, Bria Hunter told WFTV in Tallahassee, Fla. that some band members felt as if they had to join one of the underground groups “so we can be accepted.”
This report came out on the same day that friends and family members gathered in Decatur to bury Champion, a 26-year-old graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School.
Champion was found dead Nov. 19 on a bus parked outside an Orlando, Fla., hotel after the school’s football team lost to Bethune Cookman. Police said Champion, also a clarinet player before being named drum major, had been vomiting and complained he couldn’t breathe shortly before he collapsed.
According to a Tallahassee police report, Hunter was rushed to the emergency room on November 11, a little more than a week before Champion’s death.
Hunter’s parents told Atlanta’s WXIA-TV on Tuesday that the freshman clarinet player suffered a fractured thigh bone and damaged knee. They say when she returned to Georgia she couldn’t bend her legs.
Around the same time, 26 members of the band were suspended by Julian White, the university’s band director, for hazing.
Since Champion’s death, White has been fired. The school has announced an independent probe, and the university president said he will work to end the long practice of hazing in the marching band.
At 112 pounds and 5-feet 1-inch tall, Hunter said she was beaten at least three times this semester, WFTV reported. Hunter said there were 10 or 11 other band members being hazed with her.