Families and loved ones of the three black people found hanging, have complained of authorities branding them as suicide.
Trigger warning: Race-motivated violence, Suicide, Transphobic violence
The past few weeks have seen a string of black people found hanging, raising suspicions of widespread lynchings amidst Black Lives Matter protests. On Monday, yet another black male was found dead by hanging, this time in the parking lot of Ehrhardt Elementary School in Spring, Texas. The cops, as they have in the other cases, dismissed foul play. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office suggested he died by suicide. “Based on security video, witnesses and other evidence, preliminary indications are the male hanged himself. There are currently no signs of foul play,” said the sheriff’s office. The Houston Police said it was "awaiting an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences," to determine the cause of death, reported NY Daily News.
Three black men found dead by hanging
Within a span of weeks, three African-American men were found hanging, with cops hinting at death by suicide in their cases. Robert Fuller of Palmdale and Malcolm Harsch in Victorville, in California, were two individuals found dead, reported Vox. Both cases are now being investigated by the FBI. “The FBI, U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are actively reviewing the investigations into the hanging deaths of two African American men in the cities of Palmdale and Victorville to determine whether there are violations of federal law,” the bureau said in a statement. He was found hanging from a tree in a square across from City Hall in Palmdale, California.
REMINDER: The death penalty evolved from lynching. It has no place in a justice system worthy of that name.— ACLU (@ACLU) June 17, 2020
Fuller's family members insist he wasn't suicidal and raised suspicion over his death. His family members called for an investigation into his death. “My brother was not suicidal,” insists Fuller’s sister, Diamond Alexander. "He wasn’t,” she stressed at a rally, reported New York Times. Tommie Anderson, Fuller’s friend, described him as "the sweetest person." He told local station KABC, “He could make two people who didn’t like each other sit in a room together.” Reports suggest that Fuller's half-brother was shot dead by the cops on Wednesday afternoon, according to CBS Local.
Five African Americans were lynched this week.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 16, 2020
Rand Paul said no to the Anti-Lynching bill.
Don’t ever ever ever question why I am a fan of Rand Paul’s neighbor.
Malcolm Harsch was found hanging outside a library in Victorville, California on May 31. “If you can suggest suicide,” said Laurielle Stewart, a protester, on Saturday, “I can suggest a lynching,” said a demonstrator at a rally protesting Harsch's death. It's also the location of his death that's raised suspicion. “He is an African-American man whose body was found hanging from a tree!” family members told Victor Valley News. The lynching of African-Americans will always be a blot of the country's history. White mobs went around lynching black people, leaving them hanging on trees, especially after slavery was abolished. White people hailing from the South refused to accept the outcome of the Civil War went about killing black people, which went on till the 1950s. According to The Washington Post, 2,000 more people than previously estimated have been lynched by white mobs. Questions of lynching have been raised because of the nature in which both individuals were found dead, in California.
Hundreds have moved several hundred feet from Palmdale City Hall to the tree where Robert Fuller’s body was found. pic.twitter.com/kFrn0Natbc— Josie Huang (@josie_huang) June 13, 2020
"Malcolm had very recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon. He didn’t seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him,” said a family member. “The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” they said, according to USA Today. “We want justice, not comfortable excuses.” The family also claimed that there was blood on his shirt. Dominique Alexander, a 27-year-old man hailing from Bronx, was found dead by hanging, in a tree in Manhattan Park on June 9. The authorities ruled it a case of suicide.
Transwoman found dead hanging, in a tree
TeTe Gulley, an African-American transwoman was found dead, hanging in a tree in May, 2019, in Portland, Oregon. Similar to the other cases, her death was also ruled as suicide but family members suggested foul play. Family members and friends are now calling for an investigation into her death. They believe she was killed “due to homophobic and transphobic violence,” reported Pink News. Family members say the cops did not investigate the information they provided on a potential suspect.
A queer black trans women Tete Gulley, was found hanging from a tree in Portland, Oregon on May 27. Police are will not investigate due to “lack of public interest” and have ruled her death as a suicide. We want justice and we want answers! ✊🏾#BlackTransLivesMatter #SayHerName pic.twitter.com/bjjr2udM6N— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) June 17, 2020