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California Families Wary of Suicide Rulings for Black Men Found Hanging from Trees

The deaths of two Black men found hanging from trees in California have prompted more unrest in the country following the recent police-related deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

The family of Robert L. Fuller, 24, disputed the authorities’ initial pronouncement that he died by suicide, and the family of Malcolm Harsch, 38, is worried his death will also be ruled a suicide, The New York Times reported.

Harsch was found at 7 a.m. on May 31 near a homeless encampment in Victorville, Calif., where bystanders told the authorities he was living, the Times reported. There were no indications of foul play, but the investigation was continuing, according to a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department.

The bodies of Fuller and Harsch were found 10 days and 50 miles apart.

The Victorville Fire Department found bystanders performing CPR on Harsch when it arrived at the scene, according to Sue Jones, the city’s public information officer.

Firefighters took over and tried to restore Harsch’s heartbeat, but they stopped after 20 minutes.

Harsch’s relatives were told by the coroner’s office that his autopsy was completed, but they were not informed of the cause of death, said his sister Harmonie Harsch.

“We are really just trying to get more answers as to what happened,” Harsch told The Times. “My brother was so loving, not only to his family but even strangers. It is not like him.”

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