The deaths of two Black men by hanging in Southern California now have a frightened community calling for an investigation.
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According to the New York Times, the families of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch are asking the authorities to do a more extensive investigation of their deaths after the two men were both found hanging from trees only 10 days and 50 miles apart.
Fuller’s family already disputed the initial pronouncement that he died by suicide. Jonathan Lucas, the L.A. county chief medical examiner-coroner at first said that there was no evidence that suggested foul play. He now says ‘we should look into it a little more deeply and carefully, just considering all the circumstances at play.”
now Harsch’s family is living in fear that his case will be dismissed by law enforcement in a similar manner.
“We grieve for Malcolm’s family and extend our deepest condolences. Malcolm Harsch’s life mattered” said Sue Jones, the public information officer of the City of Victorville, who explained that local firefighters found bystanders attempting to perform CPR on the 38-year-old when they arrived on the scene.
“We are really just trying to get more answers.” The families of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch, 2 black men who were found hanged from trees in Southern California, are asking authorities to further investigate their deaths. https://t.co/YXDkPsSIYp
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 15, 2020
But his family doesn’t just want condolences, they want answers.
“Amidst the current racial tension and following the protesting the night prior to his body being discovered we were truly troubled to learn of his passing particularly of how his body was discovered,” family members said in a statement to the Victor Valley News. “He is an African-American man whose body was found hanging from a tree!”
Fuller’s family, echoed the same sentiments after the 24-year-old was found Wednesday hanging from a tree in a square across from City Hall in Palmdale, California.
“Everything that they’ve been telling us has not been right,” Fuller’s sister, Diamond Alexander, said at a rally on Saturday. “We’ve been hearing one thing. Then we hear another. And we just want to know the truth.”
“My brother was not suicidal,” she continued. “He wasn’t.”
The men’s suspicious deaths have been highlighted against the backdrop of worldwide protests against racial injustice as they near their fourth week of demonstrations sparked by the murder of George Floyd.
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“If you can suggest suicide, I can suggest a lynching,” protestor Laurielle Stewart pointed out Saturday.
“Two young Black men who both families said had no history of depression, mental illness whatsoever, had everything to live for,” activist Najee Ali said at a news conference on Monday, Laist reports. “I find it very strange they were hung within days of each other.
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