An attorney for the family of a North Carolina woman who died in Mexico last year announced on Thursday that he expects to meet with White House officials regarding the case sometime soon.
According to the Charlotte Observer, lawyer Benjamin Crump said he expects to meet with White House officials and the head of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee sometime after April 1. Crump is representing the family of Shanquella Robinson, who died in Mexico in October while vacationing with six other people.
“What kind of system is this? I just don’t understand it,” Robinson’s mother said.
In an 18-page information packet given to U.S. officials in March, Mexican authorities reportedly identified Daejhanae Jackson, one of the women who traveled to Mexico with Shanquella, as the “perpetrator” and issued a warrant for her arrest. The document also alleged that a concierge at the Cabo Villas told an investigator that Shanquella was the last person in her group to arrive for dinner and she appeared “not [to] fit in” with her party.
The following day, Jackson allegedly texted the concierge about a doctor and where nearby medical services were located as her friend had alcohol poisoning. Jackson ultimately agreed to have a doctor come to their room.
The doctor eventually arrived and gave Robinson an I.V. bag. An hour later, Shanquella suffered convulsions and died.
The concierge told investigators that Shanquella was said not to be in serious condition but was unconscious and required an I.V., The Charlotte Observer reported. At some point, Jackson allegedly texted him about taking Shanquella to the hospital — though he learned the group discussed whether they had the insurance to cover a hospital trip.
The concierge also described Jackson as “indifferent” during an encounter he had with her after she informed Shanquella’s mother of her death. The concierge claimed he heard laughing minutes after he left the area to give space to Shanquella’s party.
In their letter which was sent to the White House, the family’s lawyers claimed the group fled Mexico after Shaquella’s death. For these reasons, they are urging President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to intervene in this case. Crump and Robinson’s family has asked for U.S. officials to extradite Robinson’s attacker to Mexico or prosecute her here.
The State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California Sur previously said they are investigating Shanquella’s death as femicide, or when a woman is killed due to her gender. Though Mexican officials initially attributed Shanquella’s death to alcohol poisoning, a death certificate lists her death as a severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation — suggesting her first vertebra became unattached from her skull. The report does not mention alcohol.
Following her death, a video surfaced online which apparently shows Shanquella being attacked in a hotel room. During the video, someone is heard telling “Quella” to “at least fight back.” According to reports, an administrator at the villas told police in November that he believed Jackson is the woman seen beating Shanquella in the video circulating on social media.
“She was an American citizen. She was killed on a foreign land on video,” Crump said on Wednesday, per WSOC-TV. “We expect for you to care about this Black woman, just like you would care about any other American citizen killed in a foreign country on video.”
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[Featured image: Shanquella Robinson/Instagram]