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Black body found hanging from tree in Poncitlan Square, Palmdale issues statement

Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning

The body of a man in his 20s, now identified as Robert Fuller, was found hanging from a tree Wednesday near Palmdale City Hall, authorities said.

What We Know:

  • The body was found around 4 a.m. Wednesday, June 10, with a rope around the man’s neck, hanging from a tree in Poncitlan Square, according to Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.  Palmdale City officials released a statement Thursday, extending “sincere condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the individual who tragically passed away in Palmdale… Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

“Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” city officials said in the statement.

  • “Many people are suffering extreme mental anguish and the city wants everyone to know that help is available,” said City Manager JJ Murphy. “There are local resources such as Mental Health America of Los Angeles, AV Vet Center, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.”
  • Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said all indicators point to a suicide, but investigators are waiting for full autopsy results and information from the man’s next of kin regarding past issues with mental illness.
  • In California, the City of Palmdale has partnered with mental health experts to host virtual Mental Health “Town Hall” style meetings every other Monday.  Other cities have begun to offer similar services in the of COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Black community, any time a person of color is found hanging from a tree, unrest ensues.  The history of these deaths in the United States is heavy and racially charged.  In 2018 and 2016, Black people were found hanging from trees in Atlanta.

An online fundraiser has been established to help cover the cost of his burial. To donate, visit: https://gf.me/u/x8rm9w

Urban Newsroom and Black News Alerts is actively investigating this story and any related reports.  If you have information on this case or can provide additional insight, please contact the Black News Alerts Investigations team.  For immediate updates, download the Black News Alerts app.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black News Alerts and the host of Unmuted Nation on BossFM. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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