This week, a 24-year-old black man was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California, and the community is demanding answers, CNN reported Saturday.
Dozens of people gathered at Palmdale city council chambers and hundreds more took to the street on Friday to demand an investigation as officials held a press conference on the death of Robert L. Fuller, the report says.
Fire department personnel responded to the location after a passerby spotted the body shortly after 3:30 am on Monday and called 911. Fuller was pronounced dead at the scene, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Palmdale city described it as “an alleged death by suicide,” but the community is not convinced.
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, and demanded camera footage of the incident.
“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.
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, according to CNN.