Black Man Found Hanging From Tree in Palmdale, California
Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale California, was it a lynching or suicide? The family, community members, and celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Jaden Smith, Jameela Jamil, Alyssa Milano, and Kamalah Harris, are calling for a full investigation and answers.
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Early Wednesday morning, June 10, Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black male, was found dead, hanging with a rope around his neck from a tree outside the city hall in Palmdale, California. LA County Sheriff’s Department was quick to announce the probable cause of death as suicide. The announcement was met with immediate outcries of disbelief and outrage from community and family members of Robert Fuller. Fuller was described as a “sweet young man” who grew up in the Antelope Valley with a supportive family. His cousin, Robert Boyer, told KTLA, “It wasn’t no suicide. He didn’t kill himself. He wasn’t that type of person.”
The investigation is ongoing and coroner’s officials have yet to complete a full autopsy. Palmdale and LA County officials have called for an independent investigation into Fuller’s death. The city of Palmdale released a statement Saturday morning, also supporting the calls for an independent investigation and autopsy for Fuller. “The City of Palmdale is joining the family and the community’s call for justice, and we do support a full investigation into his death. We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter,” the statement read.
Protests took place on Saturday outside of the Palmdale City Hall. Demonstrators came together to demand a thorough investigation, answers and justice for Robert Fuller. They observed a moment of silence, raised fists in solidarity, and marched from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the sheriff’s station, as reported by the Associated Press. A vigil was held Saturday night for Fuller.
The case has drawn national attention and massive support. Almost 200,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding a full investigation and the release of surveillance footage. An online fundraiser to help Fuller’s family with burial expenses raised more than $188,000, far surpassing its goal of $100,000. And numerous stars and politicians, including Kim Kardashian, Jaden Smith, Jameela Jamil, Alyssa Milano, and Kamalah Harris, are standing in support of the family and community and calling for a full investigation and answers.
Robert Fuller was the second black man to be found hanging from a tree in Southern California in the last two weeks. The body of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was discovered hanging from a tree near 7th Street and Zenda Street in San Bernardino County on May 31, 2020. These deaths have come amidst protests in support of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Authorities in both cases have been quick to announce the probable cause of death as suicide, but many believe that the more likely cause of death was murder by lynching.
LaToya Blakely is an attorney, actress and host dedicated to making a difference and serving the underserved. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. You can follow her on Instagram @latoya.blakely and Twitter @BlakelyLaToya.
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