The family of a Black Southern California man found hanging from a tree last month, which sparked community demands for an investigation into the incident, has discovered evidence showing that he died by suicide.
Malcolm Harsch, 38, took his own life on May 31, the family said in a statement on Friday based on video footage found by local police.
Najee Ali, a representative of Harsch’s family, said the police revealed “video evidence” of the incident, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“On behalf of the family of Malcolm Harsch, unfortunately it seems he did take his own life,” said Ali, a community activist. “The Victorville Police Department officials released new video evidence to family members.”
As reported by NBC News, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department showed the family “surveillance video from a vacant building.” Harsch’s body was found in Victorville, a city about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
An autopsy took place on June 12.
“Although there remains no sign of foul play, the forensic pathologist is waiting for toxicology results before assigning the cause and manner of death,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
Harsch was one of two Black men founding hanging in Southern California since May.
Robert Fuller, 24 of north Los Angeles, was founded hanging from a tree near Palmdale City Hall on June 10. His death was also initially ruled a suicide, according to NBC News.
In all, there have been four cases of hanging deaths of Black men in the past month in the United States. The body of Dominique Alexander, 27, was found in New York City on June 9, according to Global News.
The New York Daily News reported that the body of a Texas teen was found hanging near Ehrhardt Elementary School of the Houston suburb, Spring, Texas on June 17.
The Harris County Sheriff‘s office also deemed his death an apparent suicide, based on “security video, witnesses and other evidence.”
*If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one or would like emotional support, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or visit the Lifeline Chat. The Crisis Text Line can also be reached by texting “Hello” to 741741.