The family of an African American man found dead believe he was lynched as tensions continue to rise in the US.
Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree outside City Hall in Palmdale California on Wednesday about 3am.
His death comes during a period of high tension the US following the death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis following a violent police arrest.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials originally ruled his death a suicide but now it’s under investigation.
In a statement, The City of Palmdale called for an independent autopsy into Mr Fuller’s death.
“The City of Palmdale is joining the family and the community’s call for justice, and we do support a full investigation into his death,” it said.
“We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter.”
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters echoed the family’s concerns as they marched through the streets.
Many carried signs that said “Justice for Robert Fuller.”
Protester Marisela Barajas told the Los Angeles Times she doubts Mr Fuller took his own life.
“All alone, in front of the City Hall — it’s more like a statement,” she told the paper.
“Even if it was a suicide, that in itself is kind of a statement.”
Mr Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander has also insisted her brother was not suicidal.
“Robert was a good little brother to us and it’s like everything they have been telling us has not been right... and we just want to know the truth,” she told KPCC-FM.
More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Mr Fuller’s death.
Lieutenant Kelly Yagerlener of the county medical examiner-coroner’s office said a decision on the cause of death is deferred pending an investigation. A full autopsy is planned.
Residents demanded surveillance video around the time and place where Mr Fuller’s body was found. The city said there were no outdoor cameras, and video recorders on a nearby traffic signal could not have captured what happened.
Sheriff’s Captain Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances leading to Fuller’s death to determine if foul play was involved.
He urged members of the public to contact detectives if they have relevant information, particularly about where Fuller had been and who he had been with in recent weeks.
with The Associated Press
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