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Two Separate Instances of Black Men Found Hanging from Trees in California

I’m going to have to use a famous John McEnroe (tennis player) quote and say, “You cannot be serious!”

On Wednesday, June 10, 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a black man, was found with a rope around his neck, hanging from a tree in Poncitlan Square in Palmdale, California and the police are saying it was a suicide and may have been due to the Coronavirus lockdown. There was a meeting held at Palmdale City Council on Friday, June 12.

Following is an excerpt from CNN: When a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department announced the preliminary findings of Fuller’s death during the news conference, outraged crowds demanded an investigation.

“We’re working hard to try to figure out exactly what happened,” Palmdale Mayor Steven D. Hofbauer shouted as he tried to calm people down. Attendees asked for camera footage of the incident, but a city official said there’s none.

Throughout the news conference, officials repeatedly called it an ongoing investigation, saying a full autopsy is underway. After the press conference, the city issued a statement saying it understands the community’s call for a full investigation into the death.

“We will fully cooperate with the Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County’s Coroner’s Offices, and any and all investigative agencies looking into the matter,” Hofbauer said. “We are awaiting all available details surrounding this tragedy. In addition, we are working with local community leaders to increase the dialogue on how we can best work together and build a safer and more inclusive community,” he added.

A full autopsy is expected to be conducted in the immediate future, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Malcolm Harsch

On May 31, in Victorville, California, 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found hanging from a tree near a homeless encampment with a USB cord around his neck and today (Saturday) the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said there was no indication of foul play. According to his family, Mr. Harsch had not been depressed.

Following is an excerpt from USA Today:

“He didn’t seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him,” the family said.

“Everyone who knew our brother was shocked to hear that he allegedly hung himself and don’t believe it to be true as well as the people who were there when his body was discovered.

“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the family added. More than 1,500 people have signed an online petition requesting the sheriff’s department and cities of Victorville and San Bernardino to conduct an investigation into his death. “There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now,” the family said. “We want justice, not comfortable excuses.”

So that’s what we (Blacks) are doing now, in the midst of racial tension and unrest? We’re hanging ourselves? I agree with Malcolm Harsch’s family; seeing and hearing all that has been going on lately, it’s not sitting well with me either and I think it’s no wonder the community in Palmdale is outraged, marched from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the Sheriff’s station and want an investigation, as does Malcolm Harsch’s family in Victorville.

We’ll have to see how these two situations unfold.

The Reporter Newspaper
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