When it comes to the death of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, who was killed in a hazing incident last November, the university is aiming the blame at Champion for deciding to participate in the fatal event.
Champion's family filed a lawsuit seeking damages from FAMU, claiming the institution failed to stop the culture of hazing, ultimately resulting in Champion's death.
FAMU attorney's filed a 17-page response as a motion to dismiss. The response included the following quotes from university attorneys:
"In the final analysis, neither Mr. Champion, Mr. Hollis, hotel security, nor law enforcement experts - with all their specialized crime prediction and prevention training and resources - were able to predict or prevent this shocking and depraved hazing incident, and therefore, it would be unfair and illogical to hold FAMU to a different and higher level of omnipotence."
"Respectfully, as a 26 year old adult and leader in FAMU's band, Mr. Champion should have refused to participate in the planned hazing event and reported it to law enforcement or University administrators. Under these circumstances, Florida's taxpayers should not be held financially liable to Mr Champion's Estate for the ultimate result of his own imprudent, avoidable and tragic decision and death."
Also, the 12 former FAMU band member facing third-degree felony hazing charges in connection to Champion's death have pleaded not guilty.