Attorneys for Shanquella Robinson’s family have accused the FBI of “not doing everything they could do” in the death.
More than four months after the death of Shanquella Robinson, a 25-year-old woman from Charlotte, NC, who died under mysterious circumstances while traveling to Mexico with six friends, lawyers for the family have accused the FBI of not doing enough with a suspect in the case, despite a wealth of mounting evidence.
“The FBI’s response in the current case demonstrates that the U.S. and federal law enforcement agencies are not doing all they could in Shanquella’s case,” attorney Sue-Ann Robinson (who has nothing to do with the family) told Yahoo News .
“There appears to be no activity on behalf of Shanquella,” added attorney Ben Crump.
Robinson and Crump, who together represent the family, say the federal agency’s response kidnapped four Americans in Mexico last week and subsequent eagerness to solve the case, including a $50,000 reward offer, is evidence that protocol is in place that is not being followed in the same way for Shanquella Robinson.
“Obviously they know how to get such a high level of intervention with the relevant Mexican authorities because they did it right away [for the recently kidnapped Americans]’ said Attorney Robinson. “Our clients know very well how complicated a cross-border criminal case is. But there is a protocol, so why isn’t the protocol used?”
The FBI said so investigations are ongoing however, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News.
Details of Robinson’s death
On October 28, Robinson traveled to the vacation city of San José del Cabo, Mexico, with a group of friends to celebrate one of her birthdays. She was found dead less than 24 hours later. Initially, her friends told her mother that Robinson had died of alcohol poisoning, but the family later received an autopsy report from the Mexican Department of Health and learned that she had suffered a broken neck and back. Alcohol was not mentioned in the report. In a death certificate obtained from Queen City News In Charlotte, Robinson’s death was attributed to “severe spinal cord injury and atlas dislocation,” meaning her first vertebra was loosened or detached from the base of her skull.
Almost a month later, a Bloggers in North Carolina released video footage allegedly showing a woman attacking Robinson. Robinson’s mother recognized the other people in the video as those who had traveled with her daughter, and she believes it was taken on the trip to Cabo.
So much has happened in the 18 weeks since Robinson’s death, the family says, and yet little has changed in the case. In addition to the leaked video, Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant in the case in November for the crime of femicide, a form of gender-based violence. They also attempted to extradite an American suspect to the country to face charges. But no one has been held accountable since then. Attorney Robinson said she has since traveled to Mexico to better understand the split and was informed by Mexico’s attorney general’s office that this case was a “high priority” and they were ready to turn it over to the US, but she claim it’s the FBI that’s stagnant.
“The FBI can issue the same reward as they do right now for looking for information,” she said. “You can say, ‘Hey, we’re offering a $50,000 reward to anyone with information on this case.’ Because six fellow travelers are at large. You are not in custody anywhere. They sleep in their beds at night.”
It’s a predicament that has left one family desperate.
“No one was arrested,” Robinson’s mother Sallamondra said at a news conference last Friday. “The people who knew what happened to my daughter are living their lives. They have returned to work and my family has to wait and wait for her to ask for answers.”
Why an indictment can take some time
Donald Corbett, an associate law professor at North Carolina Central University who specializes in constitutional law, understands the growing frustration but believes a cross-border prosecution of the person who killed Robinson is slightly more complex.
“There’s no timeline where these things have to happen in 30, 60 or 90 days, but the problem as they go through their process is that in the meantime the family is sitting there and they’re not getting answers from the government.” said Corbett.
It is more than just a criminal issue, he said, adding that there are also diplomatic and political aspects.
“Just because the extradition request is made doesn’t automatically mean that the person will simply be shipped abroad,” Corbett said. “You will have a federal court proceeding here in the States where that person will have an opportunity to challenge extradition. And then the court system here will determine if they believe this is a valid extradition request. It’s all going to take time, and of course when dealing with grief, time only makes grief a little bit worse.”
The family has increased their demands for justice through Appeal to President Biden and the State Department to intervene in the matter. Crump says it may be the only way to actually get the case moving and expresses his frustration that the opportunities offered so far have been thwarted.
“We have direct access to White House officials and we have mutual understanding on this matter,” Crump said, adding that he felt the case deserved more urgency because he felt a “murder ‘ was committed. “We are calling for high-level diplomatic intervention by the President or the State Department to do what is necessary to bring justice to Shanquella Robinson’s family.”
For some, Robinson’s story arouses similar feelings as in the 2005 Disappearance 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. Holloway, who was white, was on a high school graduation trip with classmates in Aruba but never boarded her flight home. She was last seen outside a nightclub with three locals, however No one has ever been formally charged in her death. Holloway’s disappearance made international headlines and made headlines for months.
But this case came before the days when social media can push a story out of relevance once another story takes its place. All the more reason why Corbett says US leadership involvement could be key to moving things forward.
“You need someone to put accelerant on the fire,” he said, “because at that point, when the president or a member of the cabinet or senior law officials are like, ‘Hey, what’s up with this? Let’s get it moving. ‘I think you would see movement.
It’s been more than 130 days since Robinson was found dead, and according to her mother, the fear is only growing stronger with each passing day.
“I wouldn’t wish that horrible nightmare on anyone,” Sallamondra Robinson said last week.
As the number of days continues to mount, Crump says the family and supporters are ready to make more noise and organize even bigger demonstrations on the president’s doorstep.
“We will look for opportunities, if nothing is done, to hold massive demonstrations to get justice for Shanquella Robinson,” he said. “We are planning Day 200 and Day 250 to organize at the White House to let them know that Shanquella Robinson’s life matters and that Shanquella Robinson deserves justice.”
Cover thumbnail illustration: Yahoo News; Photos: Family Handout (2)
https://news.yahoo.com/shanquella-robinson-missing-mexico-fbi-silence-inaction-205622193.html Attorneys for Shanquella Robinson’s family have accused the FBI of “not doing everything they could do” in the death.