Two Black Men Found Hanging in Southern California Cities in 2 Week Span

Two Black men, Malcolm Harsch and Robert Fuller, were found dead, hanging in Southern California cities, in the last two weeks.

Harsch (pictured above left), 38, was found hanging from a tree in Victorville on May 31. According to ABC 7, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says his body was discovered near a homeless encampment.

Investigators say foul play is not suspected.

“There were no indications at the scene that suggested foul play; however, the cause and manner of death are still pending,” Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller told Victor Valley News.

However, Harsch’s family doesn’t want his death to be easily ruled a suicide.

In a statement to Victor Valley News, his family, that’s primarily in Ohio, said Harsch recently spoke with his kids about visiting them.

The family was told he used a USB cord to hang himself and that there was blood on his shirt.

“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,” said Harsch’s family.

In Palmdale, a city about 45 miles away from Victorville, Fuller (pictured above right), 24, was found hanging from a tree across from the town’s City Hall on June 10.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported it was likely a suicide, but Fuller’s family and community members believe his death should be investigated as a homicide.

“He was not suicidal,” Pernisha Theus, Fuller’s cousin, said. “He had no mental illnesses and we don’t want that to be implied.”

The City of Palmdale has issued a statement supporting the call for an independent investigation and autopsy. 

According to ABC 7, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger released a statement requesting an investigation by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Calls for an independent investigation into Palmer’s death quickly gained nationwide support from those already requesting justice in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Palmer’s death eerily brought Harsch’s to a spotlight. Hopefully, justice for both families will be served.

These are developing stories. Please check back later for more details.

Here is a GoFundMe set up for the family of Robert Fuller.

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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