Authorities have yet to release the identity of the man and reportedly believe it be a suicide. An autopsy will soon confirm his actual cause of death.
The grim encounter comes within one week of two Black men being found hanging from trees in Californian cities that are not too far away from each other.
One incident occurred on May 31, when 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found in Victorville, California. Another similar hanging was discovered on Wednesday (June 10), when 24-year-old Robert L. Fuller was found in a public square in Palmdale, California across from Palmdale City Hall. The hangings occurred 50 miles apart from each other and investigations into both are still ongoing.
“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” Harsch’s family said in a statement. “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. We want justice not comfortable excuses,” the family said.
During the memorial that took place on Saturday (June 14) for Fuller, his sister Diamond Alexander echoed the same sentiments of Harsch’s family, “We want to find out the truth on what really happened. Everything they told us is not right. We just want the truth. My brother was not suicidal. He was a survivor. He was street smart.”
As racial tension in America builds over the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahamad Arbery, Tony McDade and more recently Rayshard Brooks; it’s difficult to not think of what a Black person hanging from a tree means in its historical context.