11-19-2017  9:43 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- A student dance team at Florida A&M University was suspended Tuesday after a parent reported that hazing had occurred at an off-campus event, the school said in a statement.

An anonymous tip from a parent Tuesday afternoon alleged that the Torque Dance Team had been involved in a "hazing incident" over Labor Day weekend, the statement said.

The all-female dance team allegedly conducted hazing involving alcohol consumption and "running up hills," university spokeswoman Sharon Saunders said.

The dance team's suspension comes less than a year after a drum major in the school's high-profile marching band died after a post-game hazing ritual.

"The university takes very seriously any allegation of hazing and has moved quickly to shut the organization down pending the outcome of an investigation," said Larry Robinson, the university's interim president, in a statement.

"We have zero tolerance for hazing. It's deplorable and will not be tolerated. It is unconscionable that a student organization would participate in any hazing activity considering what has transpired in the past year," Robinson added.

The university has launched an investigation based on the parent's report, the statement said, and campus police and administrators have been notified.

The November 2011 death of 26-year-old drum major Robert Champion, who died after being beaten during a hazing ritual on a band bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida, drew national attention.

The ritual, called "Crossing Bus C," was an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle while being assaulted by senior members, according to some university band members.

An autopsy found "extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back," and "evidence of crushing of areas of subcutaneous fat," the medical examiner reported, ruling the death a homicide.

A police investigation resulted in charges against 14 people. Eleven face one count of third-degree felony hazing resulting in death. Each also is accused of two counts of first-degree misdemeanor hazing. Three people each face a single count of misdemeanor first-degree hazing.

FAMU said it took steps to eradicate the problem of hazing after Champion's death, and the the board of trustees approved an anti-hazing plan that includes an independent panel of experts to investigate hazing allegations.

Since then, the band director has retired, the university's president has stepped down and the marching band has been suspended through the 2012-2013 school year.

In July, Champion's parents filed a lawsuit against the school's board of trustees, the company that owns the bus in which the abuse occurred and the bus driver.

CNN's Nigel Walwyn contributed to this report.

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