Protesters Gather In Palmdale To Seek Justice For Robert Fuller
Protesters gathered at a park in front of Palmdale City Hall today to speak out against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's handling of Robert Fuller's case. The 24-year-old Black man was found dead in the same park, hanging from a tree on Wednesday morning -- a frightening image reminiscent of America's history of lynchings.
The Sheriff's Department said the initial results of a coroner's investigation indicate Fuller's death was a suicide. "Without going into too much detail, it doesn't appear there was any sign of a fight or struggle," Lt. Brandon Dean told KPCC/LAist on Friday.
But protesters today asked how that conclusion could have been reached without a full investigation or an autopsy. "If you can suggest suicide, I can suggest a lynching," said Laurielle Stewart, one of the protesters, suggesting that Fuller's death was a hate crime.
At 11 a.m. more than 150 people had joined the protest to demand an independent investigation of Fuller's death by the California Attorney General. The protestors marched to the sheriff's station in Palmdale. Several told LAist reporter Josie Huang that they don't trust local law enforcement.
Members of Fuller's family, who live in Lancaster, were present at today's gathering. One protester, speaking for the family, asked others to pray for them and give them space, since they are grieving.
Demonstrators placed candles and flowers around the tree where Fuller's body was found.
Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer said at a news conference on Friday afternoon that the only cameras in Poncitlán Square are low-resolution and follow traffic in real time, but don't record.
"We encourage anyone with information about this incident to call Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500," Hofbauer added.
The City of Palmdale announced in a press release this morning that officials support a full investigation. "We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter," the statement says.
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as we receive it.
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