Family demands investigation after black man found hanging from tree

Crowd chants 'speak the truth' at official during press conference on Friday 

Family members demand answers as police called to investigate hanging death

The family of a black man who was found hanging from a tree in California has called for an urgent investigation into his death.

Early on Wednesday morning, a passerby noticed the body of 24-year-old Robert L Fuller in the city of Palmdale in northern Los Angeles County.

Members of a nearby fire crew arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and determined that the victim was deceased.

In a statement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) said Fuller’s death was being treated as an alleged suicide and that a full autopsy would soon be carried out.

However, the victim’s family said it did not agree with the department’s verdict and is seeking a full investigation into his death.

(GoFundMe )

“It wasn’t no suicide,” Mr Fuller’s cousin, Robert Boyer, told local NBCLA news on Friday. “We need answers and we’re not gonna stop until we get answers,” he added

On Friday, a crowd of people attending a news conference on the incident in Palmdale expressed their outrage that Fuller was thought to have died by suicide.

In response to the comment, audience members chanted “speak the truth” and demanded to know why the LASD called it suicide when the coroner had deferred making comments on the death “pending additional investigation”.

Palmdale Mayor Steven D. Hofbauer said the city was "working hard to try to figure out exactly what happened."

"We are awaiting all available details surrounding this tragedy. In addition, we are working with local community leaders to increase the dialogue on how we can best work together and build a safer and more inclusive community," he added.

An online petition calling for a “thorough and transparent investigation” has been signed by more than 91,000 signatories. Kim Kardashian is among those who has shared it on Twitter under the hashtag #JusticeforRobertFuller.

The change.org petition also asks for video surveillance from the surrounding area to be made available. However, a city official said on Friday that there was no footage of the incident.

A GoFundMe page set up by Fuller’s family to cover funeral costs had raised more than $140,000 (£112,000) by Saturday morning.

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