To Charlotte family gathered with lawyers and activists in Washington, DC Friday morning urging the State Department and the White House to either extradite or arrest a suspect in the case of Shanquella Robinson’s death.
It was hard to miss the scene along Pennsylvania Avenue: news cameras, umbrellas, famous civil rights attorney Ben Crump and the cries of, “No Justice, No Peace.”
The 25-year-old Robinson, of Charlotte, died on Oct. 29, 2022, while vacationing with six others in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The friends say she Robinson died of alcohol poisoning, but autopsy reports say she died from a broken neck and severed spinal cord.
And a video that surfaced after her death showed a woman the family says is Robinson being beaten by one of the women who traveled with Robinson to Mexico.
Mexican authorities have a warrant for a US citizen on a charge of femicide, a Mexican-based charge that involves the murder of a woman, according to previous information from the prosecutor’s office in Cabo. Both the FBI and authorities in Mexico are investigating the killing.
“It has been 126 days since she died,” Crump said. “That’s 18 weeks. Video footage of her being beaten, literally, to death was released, on November 16 2022, 108 days ago — 15 weeks and three days — and still with all this visual evidence, nobody has been arrested.”
Crump said he, his law firm and the family would go to the State Department Friday afternoon to deliver documents proving that Mexican authorities finished their investigation, named one of Robinson’s friends as her killer and that for anything more to happen the United States either needs to extradite the suspect back to Mexico or take over jurisdiction.
“It is not right that the suspects and the people involved are sleeping comfortably in their own beds at night,” Crump said. “The only question is State Department, President Biden, what are you going to do to bring justice for this broken-hearted family, especially this mother of Shanquella Robinson?
Lawyer goes to Mexico
How Crump and the family have as much information as they do without the help of US authorities was detailed in the news conference.
His law partner, Sue-Ann Robinson, who has no relationship to the victim, traveled to Mexico to learn what happened to the 25 year old.
She detailed her trip in front of the cameras and the crowd.
She went to the Attorney General’s office.
She went to the Mexican Red Cross.
She went to the doctor who treated Shankella Robinson.
She retraced Shanquella Robinson’s last steps.
“Trying to find answers for this family was absolutely unreal,” Sue-Ann Robinson said. “Nobody should have to do that for something that is equal and fair. They’re not asking for anything special. They’re not asking for anything unique. They’re asking for their government to intervene in a case and take jurisdiction for a crime that we all saw unfold on video.”
Shanquella Robinson extradition delay
Both Crump, Robinson and other activists that had gathered with them Friday morning questioned whether US authorities would take this case more seriously if Shanquella Robinson had been white.
They reminded their audience of cases like Natalie Holloway and Gabby Petito.
Petito’s death in 2021 brought to light the attention that white females receive when they go missing or are murdered. The case received high levels of media and online attention when the van life social media influencer went missing in Wyoming, an area where many indigenous women are also missing but often aren’t talked about.
Sue-Ann Robinson said she was able to review packets of information from Mexican authorities and it was clear the United States authorities were the hold up in moving the case forward.
Robinson went to the United States consulate for help but she said she got very little information and at times felt impeded. She said she was told if she wanted more information to talk with the friends who traveled with Shanquella Robinson.
“The level of disrespect to Shanquella Robinson even in death is unreal,” Sue-Ann Robinson said.
She added that Mexican authorities told her that everything has been sent over to the United States through Interpol, an international organization that helps with the cooperation between law enforcement in other countries.
“President Biden, the head of the Department of Justice, the State Department, you’ve all got calls from our office and we’ve got no answers,” Robinson said. “You’ve got letters. Let’s do what is right by Shanquella Robinson. And let’s always do what’s right by black women.
Crump said the family and the activists would meet with the State Department Friday and were working to meet with the White House. He said he doesn’t plan to go away until justice for Shanquella Robinson is served.
“It’s not hard,” Crump said. “Either extradite the killer, or take jurisdiction so you can prosecute the killer. It is that simple.”