In Palmdale, California, calls are mounting for an independent investigation into the death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a Black man who was found dead hanging from a tree in a park Wednesday. City officials initially said he died by suicide, suggesting the cause was due to “mental anguish” related to the coronavirus pandemic. But Fuller’s loved ones believe he was lynched, and the community has been holding protests calling for justice. A number of politicians, including California Senator Kamala Harris, have joined the call for an investigation.
Fuller’s death came 10 days after another Black man, 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch, was found dead and hanging from a tree about 50 miles away, in Victorville, California, on May 31. Malcolm Harsch’s family says they are awaiting the results of a coroner’s report, but they are doubtful he would have killed himself.