City officials in Palmdale, California are calling for a new investigation into the death of Robert Fuller, who was found hanging from a tree next to city hall.
City officials in Palmdale, California are officially backing the call for an independant investigation and autopsy to be done in the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale earlier this week. His body was found hanging at Poncitlan square next to City Hall in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, June 10th. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department ruled the death a suicide; however, his family and many others who've heard the story are not convinced that this was self-inflicted, and are calling for a new investigation into his death, believing it to be a lynching.
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After initially standing by the ruling, Palmdale city officials have since released a new statement, expressing their support for the call for an independant investigation. The statement was shared by the City of Palmdale on Saturday, June 13th.
"Following the death of Mr. Robert Fuller, the City of Palmdale is officially supporting the call for an independent investigation and an independent autopsy of Mr. Fuller who was found dead on June 10, 2020 at Poncitlan Square in Palmdale," the statement reads. "The City of Palmdale is joining the family and the community’s call for justice, and we do support a full investigation into his death. We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter. The City has already reached out to Mr. Fuller’s family, offering help and support, and will do everything possible to assist Mr. Fuller’s family during this difficult time as a complete vetting of his death is investigated. We join with our community and Robert Fuller’s family in mourning his tragic death."
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The Palmdale Sheriff originally claimed that there were no working security cameras in the area where Fuller was found; however, considering his body was found right next to City Hall, many find this highly suspect. Investigative journalist Billy Jensen pointed out that several businesses in the surrounding area also have outdoor security cameras.
As pointed out by Complex, Fuller is also the second Black man to be found hanging from a tree in California within the last two months. On May 31, 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found dead in Victorville, California, a hanging also ruled as a suicide.
A Change.org petition demanding "a thorough and transparent investigation by Palmdale PD" into Fuller's death has nearly reached its goal of 200,000 signatures. Fuller's sister, Diamond Alexander, also started a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs. It has raised nearly $200,000 as of Sunday morning.