Palmdale, CA–As national protest rock the nation in response to the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police–a young, Black male was reportedly found hanging from a tree in Palmdale.
24-year-old Robert Leroy Fuller was said to have been found hanging from a tree near Palmdale City Hall. Authorities say video footage from the incident is not available due to the shaded park area where Fuller’s body was found.
A large crowd gathered Friday at a press briefing on Fuller and demanded a full investigation by the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department who ruled Fuller’s death a suicide based on a preliminary autopsy.
“We are disgusted by the word suicide that keeps being thrown around when they don’t know. Our family is still trying to grieve and to know that they are implying that he was suicidal is really disgusting,” Fuller’s cousin said to local media during the press briefing.
Fuller’s family is adamant that he was not suicidal.
After Fuller’s body was found, The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement addressing the rise of mental health issues since Coronavirus shutdowns rocked the nation.
“Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Monday, a passerby noticed a man, later identified as Robert L. Fuller, hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California. Fire department personnel who responded to the scene determined he was dead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement,”
City of Palmdale Issues Statement Regarding Recent Death
The City of Palmdale extends its sincere condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the individual who tragically passed away in Palmdale on Wednesday, June 10. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
City Manager J.J. Murphy received confirmation that this unfortunate incident was a death by suicide. Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“Many people are suffering extreme mental anguish and the City wants everyone to know that help is available,” said Murphy. “There are local resources such as Mental Health America of Los Angeles, AV Vet Center, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.”
For the past few months, the City has partnered with local mental health experts to host a virtual Mental Health Town Hall every other Monday. It helps residents gain valuable tools to cope with mental health concerns and lean on the peer support of those with knowledge and experience in the field. The next session will take place Monday, June 15 at 10 am. To participate, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and note “Mental Health Town Hall” in the subject line. City staff will then provide you with the meeting information and access code.
The County of Los Angeles also has valuable mental health resources available on their website, https://dmh.lacounty.gov/
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing anxiety, depression or needs to talk to someone immediately, call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health 24-hour hotline at 1-800-854-7711, or text LA to 741741.
“The City remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times,” Murphy said. “We are in this together.”