The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that the county coroner had ruled Robert Fuller’s death a suicide. The 24-year-old Black man was found hanged by a noose from a tree in Palmdale, California, on June 10, at the height of anti-racism protests throughout the country and ten days after Malcolm Harsch, 38, was found in similar circumstances in Victorville, about 50 miles away. The families of both men rejected the initial findings of suicide as the cause of death as a way for authorities “to avoid any further media attention,” as the Harsch family said in a statement. Authorities said there was no sign of a struggle at the scene of Fuller’s death. Protesters demanded authorities investigate further into both deaths, citing racial tensions sparked by the killing of an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis police custody and subsequent demonstrations.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741