The event, which took place at Little Rock AME Zion Church, called for answers regarding the death of the 25-year-old, who passed away while on a trip to Mexico under questionable circumstances. Family members and friends of Robinson, as well as local leaders, spoke at the rally, voicing their grief while sharing their memories of the entrepreneur and college student.
“I’m going to be honest – this is tough,” Charlotte City Council Mayor pro tem, Braxton Winston, said during his remarks. “How many words of comfort can you bring to a situation like this? There’s so much grief in our community.”
Pat Cotham, Mecklenburg County’s at-large commissioner, also extended his condolences to Robinson’s family, noting that her story “[is] just starting.” “She was just a young woman,” Cotham acknowledged. “I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Shanquella.”
According to Million Youth March of Charlotte founder, Mario Black, the rally was set up to allow those unable to attend Robinson’s funeral to show their support and solidarity in light of the tragedy.
“There were thousands of people that didn’t make it into the services a couple of weeks ago, so this is the opportunity to come and show their support for the Robinson family again and to love on them and basically let them know that we stand with them,” Black told reporters present at the event before adding that Robinson’s family and the city of Charlotte will not rest “until justice is served.”
Robinson passed away in late October while on a trip with six friends to San Jose del Cabo, a resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. On the day following her arrival, the victim’s mother received a phone call from one of Shanquella’s friends notifying her that her daughter had died as a result of alcohol poisoning.
However, a Mexican Secretariat of Health’s autopsy report and death certificate for Robinson lists her cause of death as “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.” There is no mention of alcohol in the report. The document, dated Nov. 4, also states that the approximate time between Robinson’s injury and her death was 15 minutes. The report also indicates that the victim’s death is believed to be “accidental or violent.”
A video has since surfaced online of a woman physically assaulting Robinson, with her mother identifying the assailant as one of the friends who accompanied her daughter on the trip.
According to the FBI and Mexican authorities, an arrest warrant in connection to the case was issued in late November.