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13 Jun, 2020 05:24

Black man found HANGED near city hall in California in alleged ‘suicide,’ but protesters suspect LYNCHING & demand full probe

Black man found HANGED near city hall in California in alleged ‘suicide,’ but protesters suspect LYNCHING & demand full probe

Residents and activists are demanding answers after the body of Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree in a Los Angeles suburb. While police say early findings point to suicide, skeptics suspect a hate crime.

Fuller was found dead earlier this week, suspended from a tree with a rope tied around his neck near city hall in Palmdale, California. Authorities have yet to issue an official cause of death, but speaking to local media, one police lieutenant said there appeared to be no indications of foul play.

“From initial investigation of the scene and everything we've recovered, all signs right now lead us to believe this was a suicide,” said Brandon Dean of the Palmdale Sheriff's Station. “Without going into too much detail, it doesn't appear there was any sign of a fight or struggle.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department similarly suggested that Fuller “tragically committed suicide” during a news conference on Friday.

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Though the investigation into the death is ongoing, outraged community members and activists have castigated local police for suggesting suicide at such an early stage, before an autopsy. They are now demanding a thorough investigation to determine whether the death was indeed a homicide – or worse yet, a racially motivated lynching. Fuller’s family is also looking for an explanation, with his sister Diamond Alexander insisting “we will get to the bottom of this” in a Facebook post on Friday night.

Detectives say they are looking for security camera footage that may have captured Fuller’s death, but noted there are none in the vicinity. However, a local investigative reporter, Billy Jensen, has challenged that claim, sharing photos of what he said are four such devices around the area.

The incident has set social media ablaze with interest and speculation, sending #JusticeForRobertFuller trending, and even prompting a mention from Kim Kardashian.

Fuller’s death came amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, after George Floyd, also a black man, died during a brutal arrest by Minneapolis law enforcement.

Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer has encouraged anyone with information on the incident to come forward, stressing that the city administration is determined to figure out exactly what happened. The coroner’s office will soon perform an autopsy, which could shed more light on the circumstances of Fuller’s death.

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