The death of Robert Fuller, declared a lynching by Black Lives Matter activists after he was found hanging from a tree outside Los Angeles, was confirmed a suicide – but many are hesitant to trust the probe’s result.
Fuller, a 24-year-old black man discovered hanging from a tree near City Hall in the Los Angeles suburb of Palmdale, heard voices telling him to kill himself and was repeatedly hospitalized for suicidal ideation before his death, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which revealed the results of its investigation at a press conference on Thursday.
While Fuller’s death had been ruled a suicide weeks ago after his body was found hanging in a park, with authorities finding no signs of a crime at the scene, his outraged family had demanded a more thorough probe, hiring an independent medical examiner to conduct their own autopsy.
However, the sheriff’s department not only found that Fuller had purchased the rope used in the grisly deed using his own EBT benefits card, but that he had been hospitalized three times since 2017, each time due to suicidal ideation. He was most recently institutionalized in November in Nevada, having “disclosed that he did have a plan to kill himself,” Sheriff’s Commander Chris Marks revealed, adding that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had responded in February to an incident where Fuller “allegedly tried to light himself on fire.”
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva acknowledged the investigation had been “one of the easier ones,” suggesting it “demonstrates why the public needs to trust the Sheriff’s Department.” He blamed the Board of Supervisors for promoting a “conspiracy theory” about Fuller’s death, forcing the department to allocate extra resources to the case at the expense of other investigations.
Completely sick how badly how so many inthe comments seem to NEED to see hate crimes and racially motivated killings. Now, they’re trying actually to rationalize suicidal thoughts and claiming that “no black man” would ever commit suicide in this specific way… unbelivable.
— Reticent Air (@reticentair) July 10, 2020
Many locals seemed eager to pin Fuller’s death on Palmdale residents, however, with over a thousand people coming out to a protest in the park where he died in the days after his body was found. The sheriff acknowledged that the case had “brought a lot of attention” in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which touched off months of protests across the US against police brutality and racism, and implored LA County officials to boost funding for mental health and housing programs.
His family had said this over and over from the time he was found. He had been suicidal for years. But the “protestors” didn’t listen and they started acting out and screaming they wanted justice for him🤦♀️ Goes to show they don’t care or need a reason to keep doing what they do
— Erika (@BreakingRidges) July 10, 2020
Fuller’s half-brother was killed a week after his suicide after allegedly opening fire on Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, who were attempting to arrest him for beating and holding his girlfriend captive for almost a week.
The hanging was far from a closed case for observers on social media, however. Many expressed disbelief that it was possible to buy rope with an EBT card, the benefits from which are subject to a byzantine array of rules forbidding the purchase of everything from hot food to sanitary pads.
Since when is ROPE an allowable expense???? Women can’t buy pads or tampons but that man bought ROPE???
— rhia (@rhipossessed) July 10, 2020
Since when is rope a food item eligible for EBT purchase?
— Knancy (WEAR👏A👏MASK👏!) (@FlippyO) July 10, 2020
Others simply refused to accept the results of the investigation – no reasons needed.
I just keep having a hard time imagining a black man hanging himself near city hall…the “town square” if you will…I have a hard time with that idea…
— Thembi Duncan (she/her) (@ThembiDuncan) July 10, 2020
The thing about “authorities” is…they have no credibility and have given us no reason to take their word for anything 🤷🏽♀️
— 💙💗💛🤍 na🤍mi 💜🖤💗💙 (@naomiblueriver) July 10, 2020
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!