Citizens Demand Answers on Death of Robert Fuller, a Black Man Found Hanging From a Tree

The 24-year-old California resident's death was unofficially ruled a suicide.

Police Tape

Image via Getty/Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star

Police Tape

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a 24-year-old black man whose body was found hanging from a tree earlier this week in Palmdale, California.

City Manager J.J. Murphy addressed the tragedy in a statement on Thursday, describing Robert Fuller's death as a possible suicide related to the COVID-19 crisis: "Many people are suffering extreme mental anguish and the City wants everyone to know that help is available," he said. "There are local resources such as Mental Health America of Los Angeles, AV Vet Center, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health."

However, many community members have questioned why Fuller's death was immediately deemed a possible suicide before a full autopsy report was made available. The skepticism grew on social media, as many people began calling for a thorough investigation using the hashtag #JusticeForRobertFuller. Kim Kardashian joined the voice of demands, posting the official petition on her Twitter calling for the investigation as well. 

Robert Fuller was found dead June 10, 2020, hanging from a tree outside City Hall Palmdale. Sign this petition to demand for a thorough and proper investigation #JusticeforRobertFuller

— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) June 12, 2020


A young man was lynched in yesterday. His body was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, CA. He was only 23 years old. His family is missing him. They want answers. They want JUSTICE. His name is Robert Fuller.

SAY HIS NAME 💔😭#JusticeForRobertFuller

— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 12, 2020

A black man was found hung by a tree near city hall in my hometown of Palmdale, CA. Officials were so quick to rule his death as a suicide...why the FUCK would he kill himself in front of city hall!? we need answers/ footage QUICK! #JusticeforRobertFuller

— N ♡ (@yvngnasha) June 12, 2020

Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, a passerby saw Fuller's body hanging from a tree in an area called the Poncitlan Square, just outside City Hall. Palmdale Sheriff's Lt. Brandon Dean toldLAistthe passerby immediately alerted authorities; Shortly after, first-responders determined Fuller was dead.

"From initial investigation of the scene and everything we've recovered at the scene, all signs right now lead us to believe this was a suicide," Dean told the outlet. "Without going into too much detail, it doesn't appear there was any sign of a fight or struggle."

Palmdale officials addressed the incident during a Friday press conference, stating Fuller's death marked the 15th alleged suicide in the city this year. When asked how many black Palmdale residents died by suicide, officials could not provide an exact number, but said it was more than one.

The LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office confirmed that Fuller's death was initially reported in a preliminary finding as a suspected suicide. However, they have yet to determine an official cause of death, as the investigation is ongoing.

Residents urged Palmdale police to stop referring to Fuller's death as a suicide until more information is available. Following the press conference, a man who identified himself as Fuller's cousin additionally told FOX LA that the family is convinced foul play was involved.

Palmdale officials concluded that more information will become available for the public as their investigation is underway. 

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