The apparent hanging death of a black man in the Los Angeles area is being investigated, after demands among residents and celebrities about the initial finding of suicide had been brought into question. The body of 24-year-old Robert Fuller was found near Palmdale City Hall Wednesday afternoon by a passerby, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“He was hanging from a tree,” said police during a press conference last week. “Personnel from the adjacent fire station responded and determined that he had passed. Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears that Mr. Fuller has tragically died by suicide.” Someone in the audience said, “That’s a lie. That’s a lie.” By Saturday, demonstrators gathered outside City Hall to demand a thorough investigation. Protesters gathered at the tree where Fuller’s body was found, and members of Fuller’s family and a sheriff’s investigator on the case said there was no indication he left a suicide note.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she has asked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to conduct an independent investigation. The county coroner’s office said in its own statement that a definitive cause of death has been deferred pending further investigation. Questions about Fuller’s death led demonstrators to gather Friday outside City Hall, and the social media hashtag #JusticeForRobertFuller was being used to bring attention to the case. Kim Kardashian West urged her Twitter followers to endorse a Change.org petition calling for “a thorough and proper investigation.”
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