Less than 24 hours after news broke that a Black man, Robert Fuller, was found hanging from a tree in the Los Angeles suburb of Palmdale, California on June 12, local outlets are reporting that another Black man, Malcolm Harsch, was found dead in similar circumstances less than two weeks ago, on May 31.
The 38-year-old was found less than fifty miles from where Fuller’s body was discovered. In both cases, local authorities quickly ruled the deaths as suicide, saying no foul play was involved. However, community members and the families of the deceased are not convinced, and demand further investigation into the deaths.
Hanging from a tree is, of course, an image charged with the racist history of lynchings and that both men were found dead near city buildings — Robert Fuller, 24, near City Hall and Harsch, near the public library — is raising questions. Fuller’s body was found in Palmdale, known to be a white conservative area with a history of racism.