After 24-year-old Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree outside of Los Angeles in a suspected suicide on June 12, local outlets are reporting that 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found was found dead in similar circumstances less than two weeks ago, on May 31.
Harsch was found less than fifty miles from where Fuller’s body was discovered in the suburb of Palmdale, California. Many are calling out the conspiracy after both cases resulted in local authorities quickly ruling the deaths as suicide, saying no foul play was involved.
However, the families of the deceased and community members don’t believe authorities and demand further investigation into the deaths. Both bodies were found in in the white conservative suburb that has a history of racism.
Both men were found dead near city buildings — Fuller was found near City Hall and Harsch was found near the public library. This shocking similarities of the deaths has many people asking questions.
Lt. Kelly Yagerlener of the L.A. County medical examiner-coroner’s office said a full autopsy is planned to determine the cause of Harsch’s death. A Change.org petition calling for an investigation into Harsch’s death had over 10,000 signatures by Sunday morning (June 14).
Since Fuller’s death surfaced online last week, more than 200,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into the details surrounding his death.
According to local outlet the Victorville Daily Press, community members approached city officials at a news briefing Friday and demanded to know why they were so quick to label his death a suicide.
“Robert was a good little brother to us and it’s like everything they have been telling us has not been right … and we just want to know the truth,” Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander said to the paper.
Harsch’s family members, like Fuller’s, also doubt he died by suicide.
“He didn’t seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him. Everyone who knew our brother was shocked to hear that he allegedly hung himself and don’t believe it to be true as well as the people who were there when his body was discovered,” the family said in a statement. “The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible.”
The Los Angeles Times reported some shady details surrounding Harsch’s death.
“The family also said they were told that Harsch, at 6 foot 3, wasn’t dangling from the tree and that there was blood on his shirt. At the same time, there did not appear to be any evidence at the scene to suggest a struggle, they said. They also noted that his body sat at the San Bernardino County coroner’s office for 12 days before an autopsy was performed.”
“Amidst the current racial tension and following the protesting the night prior to his body being discovered we were truly troubled to learn of his passing, particularly of how his body was discovered,” Harsch’s family wrote. “He was an African American male, whose body was found hanging in a tree in Victorville California!”
The family said a deputy who called to confirm Harsch’s death asked about drug or alcohol use, “made a statement about how the coronavirus has ‘hit people really hard’ and said a USB cord was used to hang him.”
“There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now,” Harsch’s family said. “We want justice not comfortable excuses.”
The cities of Palmdale and Victorville have had increased protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people killed at the hands of police. The deaths of Fuller and Harsch deserve an investigation and protesters are letting it be known.
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