PALMDALE – Hundreds of people gathered in Palmdale Saturday to demand answers in Wednesday’s death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree near Palmdale City Hall.
Sheriff’s officials previously said that the death appears to be a suicide, but the investigation is ongoing and they’re waiting for full autopsy results before making a final determination.
Saturday’s protest began around 11 a.m. outside Palmdale City Hall. Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander told the crowd, “My brother was not suicidal, he wasn’t.” Protestors marched to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station and back to City Hall before the crowd made its way to the tree in Poncitlan Square where Fuller’s body was found with a rope around his neck just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10.
Demonstrators chanted, “If we don’t get no justice, then you don’t get no peace!” as they marched east on Palmdale Boulevard to 20th Street East where they were confronted by deputies who ordered them out of the street. Protesters stayed in the street on Palmdale Boulevard, while chanting “Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here!”
Protesters then marched west on Palmdale Boulevard to Sierra Highway, where officers formed a human barricade and forced the protesters out of the street and back into Poncitlan Square.
Throughout the rally, several protesters stressed the need for an independent investigation into Fuller’s death. Some drew parallels between Fuller’s death and the death of Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old black man who was reportedly found hanging from a tree in Victorville on May 31. Like Fuller’s family, Harsch’s relatives are doubtful he took his own life. [Read more on that story here.]
Palmdale city officials on Saturday called on the state attorney general to investigate Fuller’s death.
“The City of Palmdale is joined by State Senator Scott Wilk, Assemblymember Tom Lackey and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Chair Kathryn Barger in requesting that the State Attorney General Xavier Becerra step in and oversee an independent and thorough investigation in the death of Robert Fuller,” city officials said in a news release. [View it here]
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said, “The attorney general, as the lead attorney and law enforcement official for the state of California, will lend additional expertise and oversight into this important investigation and provide the community with the answers they deserve.”
Anyone with information about Fuller’s death is urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
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