The discovery of Robert Fuller – a 24-year-old Black man, hanging from a tree near Palmdale City Hall this week has put a dent on the road to “all lives matter”. Investigations are ongoing to determine if his tragic death was caused by suicide or if foul play was involved.
A passerby spotted the body of Robert Fuller 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday – His body was found at block 38300 of 9th Street East. According to authorities, emergency personnel responded and determined that the man was dead, authorities said.
Currently, the police department is calling this a suicide. Lt. Kelly Yagerlener of the Los Angeles County medical examiner office said the death was initially reported as an apparent suicide. However, a decision on the cause of death is suspended pending the investigation. A full autopsy to help in the investigation has been set in motion.
“Investigators have been in contact with Mr.Robert Fuller’s family and are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death,” Palmdale officials wrote in a statement.
The death of Robert Fuller has generated a lot of attention, especially after weeks of protests over the police killing of George Floyd. Kim Kardashian – West tweeted about the case, urging people to sign a petition demanding a full investigation. Yesterday, as of 9 p.m. ET, the petition had gathered more than 40,000 signatures.
At a press conference, Captain Ronald Shaffer, of the LA County Sheriff’s Palmdale station, said, “Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears that Mr. Fuller has tragically died by suicide.”
Members of the community confronted city officials, questioning why they were quick to label Robert Fuller’s death a suicide. While asking questions on whether he might have been the victim of a homicide – “Remember what the first coroner said about George Floyd? We need another one,” one attendee said at the press conference.
The residents asked whether there were cameras around the park. The city replied saying there were no outdoor cameras, and video recorders on a nearby traffic signal could not have captured what happened. The community said officials should not be quick to dismiss it as racial profiling might have a role in the death of Robert Fuller. “We have a history with nooses. We don’t like ropes around our necks,” said one man present. He continued; “It was a message for the protest we had in Palmdale and Lancaster.”
“Stop letting this stuff happen. I was just saying about George Floyd, are we just going to wait until it’s somebody we know? Now it is somebody I know, and it’s not right.” An unidentified person said while holding back tears, giving an emotional speech to protesters who were at the site where Fuller was found.
However, City Manager J.J. Murphy declared; “Maybe we should have said it was an alleged suicide.” He added: “Can I also ask that we stop talking about lynchings?”, but the community wasn’t having it. The audience exploded; chanting “Hell no!”
Capt. Ron Shaffer said the homicide detectives are investigating the death of Robert Fuller and urged members of the public to contact the homicide bureau with any information.
The City of Palmdale posted on Facebook in response to Fuller’s death, saying the city “extends its sincere condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Robert Fuller who tragically passed away in Palmdale on Wednesday, June 10.”
What are your thoughts. Do you think its suicide or do you suspect a homicide?