Shanquella Robinson's Family And Supporters Gathered In Washington, DC, To Demand Justice For Her Death In Mexico Last Year

It's been four months since 25-year-old Robinson was found dead in her hotel room while on vacation with friends in Mexico.

In October, 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson was found dead in her hotel room while on vacation with friends in San José del Cabo, Mexico. Now, 18 weeks later, the FBI investigation is still ongoing, and many questions surrounding her death remain unanswered.

On Friday, her family, along with their attorney, civil rights activists, and civil rights attorney Ben Crump held a news conference in Washington, DC, to demand President Joe Biden and the US State Department diplomatically intervene and bring those accountable for Robinson's death to justice.

The North Carolina native, who ran a popular hair braiding business and online boutique, died in her hotel room on Oct. 29, while vacationing with friends. Initially, her friends had said that Robinson died of alcohol poisoning; however, according to the death certificate, her death was caused by a severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation, which is a form of severe neck injury. Alcohol poisoning is not mentioned on the death certificate.

In early November, local authorities in Mexico said they were investigating the circumstances around her death. Shortly after, a video surfaced online that appeared to show Robinson being beaten while naked in a hotel room. In the video, Robinson is knocked to the ground as another person repeatedly hits her in the head. The person filming the video can be heard saying, "Can you at least fight back?"

Then, in late November, the attorney general for Mexico's Baja California Sur, Daniel de la Rosa Anaya, said that an arrest warrant was issued for one of Robinson's traveling companions and that the extradition process was underway for the suspect. The death did not result from a "quarrel," he said, "but instead a direct aggression."

Per the US Department of Justice, extradition can take many months and even years. But Robinson's family and friends continue to push for justice.

In an email sent to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson from the US State Department said that the department "supports a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this incident and is closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation," and that the "Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas."

"The Department does not provide confirmation of or commentary on investigations due to privacy and law enforcement considerations," they added and referred further questions to the FBI. BuzzFeed News has contacted the FBI in Charlotte, North Carolina, for any updates.

In the last few months, Robinson's community, which is also in Charlotte, has held a funeral, multiple rallies, and a memorial for her.

"Justice for Shanquella Robinson," civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Friday morning in Washington, DC. "Still, after all this visual evidence, nobody has been arrested."

"Mexico has advised that their investigations are complete," Crump said. "They have identified a suspect, and that suspect is currently out free in the United States of America."

During the news conference, Crump asked the US government to either "extradite the person who murdered Shanquella Robinson to Mexico to face the charges and the crimes that have been alleged" or take jurisdiction so they can bring those responsible for killing Robinson to justice.

"We are asking for high-level intervention, diplomatic intervention from the President of the United States and the State Department to do whatever is necessary to bring the person or the people who are responsible for the murder of Shanquella Robinson to justice," Crump said.

Attorney Sue-Ann Robinson, who is counsel for Ben Crump Law and is representing the Robinson family, also spoke at the news conference on Friday. She said that Mexican authorities told her they had sent all investigation information to the FBI, meaning the "ball is in the court of the United States."

Family members of the late Robinson also spoke at the news conference on Friday.

"I don't wish that terrible nightmare on anyone," said Shanquella's mother, Salamondra Robinson. "The people who knew what happened to my daughter are living their lives. They have returned to work, and my family is left to wait. I am here as an American citizen to ask our President and everyone with the power to get justice for my daughter to help me. Please help me and my family."

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