by Jeannette Muhammad
CHARLOTTE—It was more than a month ago that Shanquella Robinson, 25, died under mysterious circumstances while vacationing in Mexico.
Members of the community, ministers, friends and family members recently gathered at Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday, Dec. 10 to show support for Ms. Robinson’s family and call for authorities to arrest those involved in her death.
In late October, Shanquella Robinson died a day after arriving in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where she was with six others. Following her death, Ms. Robinson’s companions returned to the U.S. without her and told her family she had died of alcohol poisoning.
But a death certificate obtained by Charlotte television station WSOC-TV listed the 25-year-old’s cause of death as severe spinal cord injury and atlas subluxation complex, with alcohol poisoning nowhere mentioned.
“By the grace of God, I think I am going to get to the bottom of this,” Bernard Robinson, Shanquella Robinson’s father, told WSOC-TV. “God ain’t gonna fail. It’s going to come out,” he said.
The Dec. 10 rally was organized by Million Youth March of Charlotte & Salisbury and featured a number of speakers calling for justice and offering support to Shanquella Robinson’s family. Others remembered the young, Black woman as a talented and charming woman.
Saundra Adams, a board member of Mothers of Murdered Offspring, recalled feeling angry when she heard what happened to Shanquella.
“You got to use that anger properly,” she said. “Get angry enough to make a difference. Get angry enough to do something about it. Get angry enough to take some action. Being here today is good action,” said Ms. Adams.
Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston admitted the situation was tough to grapple with.
“This is hard,” he said. “How many words of comfort can you bring in a situation like this?”
Corey Muhammad, student minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 36, was also among the speakers’ offering words of support to the family. Student Minister Muhammad spoke on the “irredeemable emotion that is referred to as envy,” citing examples from the Bible like Cain and Abel, and Joseph’s brothers casting him out.
“These were people that were close to the ones that we’re speaking about,” he explained. “There’s a part of the scripture that tells us that all things, not some things, but all things work for good for those that love the Lord. But the rest of that is ‘and are called to his purpose’ even when we may not know what that purpose is,” said Student Min. Corey Muhammad.
According to several media reports, there is an ongoing FBI investigation on the case and Mexican authorities are currently seeking the arrest of one of the travelers on the trip.