I saw the video. It was difficult to watch Shanquella Robinson, 25, of Charlotte, beaten severely– allegedly by one of her travel companions. Robinson traveled on Oct. 28 with six friends to the resort city of San José del Cabo. Initially, her mother was called by the friends and told that her death was the result of alcohol poisoning.
The death certificate instead revealed that the cause was a “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” an instability of the first two neck vertebrae, WSOC reported. Alcohol was not mentioned in the report on the death certificate, and lists the time between injury and death as about 15 minutes and notes that Shanquella was found unconscious in the living room.
The video circulating shows Shanquella was being hit repeatedly in her head. She was not fighting back. Someone can be heard on the video asking if she “could at least fight back.” The mother said she recognizes the people on the video as the friends Shanquella traveled with to Mexico and believes the video was shot during the trip. It was disturbing to see others in the video do absolutely nothing to break it up.
Although the investigation continues on this case, my heart aches for the family. As a mother of an adult daughter, you hope that the people who are around your child, who profess to be their friends are actually people who will look out for your child. It’s sad that you must caution your children about the people that they are around and that the world isn’t safe. Despite no matter how much you try to protect your child from stranger danger, it’s often those who are the closest that can cause harm.
I don’t know exactly what happened in this young woman’s assault and death but I do know that we live in a world with those who camouflage who they are. The lyrics of the famous O’jays song states—“They smilin’ in your face, All the time, they want to take your place, The back stabbers.” The Bible affirms this: “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of G o d …” (2 Timothy 3:2-4)
As much as we’d like to believe in the good in everyone, the reality is that everyone doesn’t have the same moral code, ethics or integrity. Shanquella must have trusted these individuals to travel out of the country with them. They obviously gained her trust only to betray it.
We’ve all experienced believing that someone cared for us, had our best interests at heart only to discover otherwise. Betrayal isn’t new. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, Potiphar’s wife, and the Pharaoh’s chief cup holder (Genesis 37:23-24, 28, Genesis 39:16-18, Genesis 40:23 NLT) King Saul rewarded David for taking Goliath down. Even after bringing David into Saul’s family and kingdom, Saul was determined to murder David. (1 Samuel 18-and 1 Samuel 19) Even Jesus experienced betrayal. Jesus was betrayed by someone close to him. “And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people.” (Matthew 17:22 NLT)
Betrayal is devastating. It is not only a violation of trust but the consequences can impact our mental, emotional, spiritual and in some instances, physical well-being. We don’t always know who will betray us. The Bible reminds us to be careful: “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
I know that justice will be served for Shanquella Robinson. “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (Galatians 6:7)
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, founder of the Reconciliation and Restoration Foundation (r2fdn.org) and the author of 4 books including the recently released, Empowering Charity: A New Narrative of Philanthropy. She is also the host of the Tapestry podcast.