The state attorney general’s office and the FBI’s Civil Rights Division will oversee the investigation, which is being led by the Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide bureau, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
The coroner’s office has completed an autopsy but is awaiting toxicology results, Lucas said. Investigators are also looking at Fuller’s medical history. Homicide detectives also plan to analyze the rope and its knot, canvass the area for video footage, interview Fuller’s social services case worker and speak to anyone who had recently interacted with him.
They are also seeking to meet with Fuller’s family, authorities said.
People marched to demand an investigation into the death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, who was found hanging from a tree early last week.
Credit: Najee Ali
Credit: Najee Ali
The state Senate began its session Monday with a moment of silence for Fuller and Malcolm Harsch. The death of Harsch, a 38-year-old black man who was found hanging from a tree May 31 in Victorville, a desert city about 45 miles east of Palmdale, came to light after Fuller’s case.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said foul play was not suspected in the death of Harsch, but his family said they were concerned it will be ruled a suicide to avoid further attention.
Villanueva said his investigators will consult with San Bernardino detectives to see if there are any commonalities between the deaths of the two men.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters marched from the Palmdale park near City Hall to the sheriff’s station. Many carried signs that read, “Justice for Robert Fuller.” Meanwhile, an online petition demanding an investigation collected more than 200,000 signatures.
The city has issued a statement supporting an independent inquiry, and three elected officials — county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, state Sen. Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita and Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale — urged California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the probe.
Fuller’s death came amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis while in police custody.