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A community seeks answers after a young black man is found hanging from a tree in Los Angeles County


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Dozens of people gathered at Palmdale city council chambers Friday as officials held a press conference on the death of a 24-year-old black man who was found hanging from a tree in northern Los Angeles County.

Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Monday, a passerby noticed a man, later identified as Robert L. Fuller, hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California. Fire department personnel who responded to the scene determined he was dead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
Palmdale city described it as "an alleged death by suicide."
"Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began," the city said in a statement that included information on resources for mental health. "The city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times. We are in this together."
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.
Investigators have been in contact with Fuller's family members and are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Palmdale city manager J.J. Murphy said he would be speaking to Fuller's sister after the news conference. CNN is attempting to reach out to Fuller's family members.
Palmdale is about 60 miles from Los Angeles.


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Roughly 200 people gathered outside Victorville City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to protest the hanging death of Malcolm Harsch.

No foul play was suspected in the death of 38-year-old Harsch, according to San Bernardino County authorities. Harsch, a black man, died in Victorville on May 31.

Harsch’s death came a week before another black man, Robert Fuller, was found dead near Poncitlán Square, just east of Palmdale City Hall. Fuller’s death was also a hanging and was initially described by officials as a suspected suicide. Coroner’s investigators have yet to rule on a final cause of death pending the investigation and toxicology results.

In a news conference on Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said there wasn’t any evidence the deaths were linked, but that his detectives would talk with San Bernardino County detectives.

In a statement later Monday, San Bernardino County sheriff’s homicide investigators said Harsch had been talking with his girlfriend at a homeless encampment at Circle and Victor drives. Not much later, he was discovered hanging in a tree at 7:07 a.m.

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‘For the People’ protest the recent Victoville hanging death of Malcolm Harsch Tuesday, June 16, 2020, outside of Victorville City Hall. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

His girlfriend had returned to her tent, then later came out when others alerted her that Harsch was found hanging, a cord around his neck. Residents of the encampment tried to resuscitate Harsch before deputies arrived and also attempted to revive him.

San Bernardino County coroner’s investigators also have not officially determined Harsch’s cause of death. But they said there was no indication of foul play.


An autopsy was performed on Harsch’s body on June 12, and coroner’s offices are waiting for results of a toxicology report.

Harmonie Harsch, Malcolm’s sister, said on a video on Facebook from her home in Ohio that she doesn’t believe her brother’s death was a suicide.

“My brother is 6-feet-3-inches tall, and that tree was four feet tall,” Harmonie Harch said. “He was tied to a tree with an HDML cord. One question I have is where did the HDML cord come from? Someone took their time with that knot. It was too perfect.”

She said that an unidentified man stole from Malcolm and she believes that man is responsible for Malcolm’s death.

Protesters also lined up outside of City Hall to call for less funding to go to law enforcement and instead be rerouted into other public programs, the  Daily Press newspaper reported.

Approximately 42 percent of the money from the city of Victorville’s General Fund in 2019-20 goes toward law enforcement, according to the City of Victorville’s annual budget.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were near the protest and roughly 200 people were there protesting.



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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/11/2020 at 12:00 PM, Auburn85 said:


read crishoms latest paperback the guardians. based on a true story and some of it ...so far...takes place in alabama. the things they used to pin murder on some cats it downright laughable until you realize it really happened. regardless of what my buddy on here claims i understand why folks are protesting. that does not mean i agree with it.

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