Community members held a vigil in Santa Clarita Saturday in honor of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man found hanged from a tree outside Palmdale City Hall earlier this month.
About 30 people gathered in Central Park to remember Fuller’s life and to demand answers about his death.
“I do think, especially with the BLM movement, authorities are starting to take everything into consideration because we do want to know if there was foul play or not… Or if this was a mental health issue,” activist Annie Astorga said.
Fuller’s death was initially ruled a suicide, but after mounting pressure from protesters and family members, sheriff’s investigators announced they would be conducting a broader probe into his death with the FBI and state authorities.
State Assemblywoman Christy Smith was present Saturday to show her support.
“Whatever the evidence is that comes out of the investigation, one way or another, gives us, as a community, some guidepost as to where we need to change direction,” Smith said. “Either we need to significantly look at improving mental health and services… or we need to make sure we’re looking holistically across the community at what happened and how we keep people like Robert Fuller safe.”
At the same time, another investigation is underway after L.A. County sheriff’s officials confirmed Thursday that a man killed in a gunbattle with deputies was Fuller’s half-brother, 31-year-old Terron Jammal Boone of Palmdale.
Boone was in a vehicle that was pulled over by detectives in Rosemond. Officials said Boone opened fire on them. The investigators fired back and killed him.
Boone was wanted on a warrant and was facing 12 felony charges involving domestic violence, terrorist threats, false imprisonment and an assault with a semi-automatic handgun, officials said.
Members of the Antelope Valley community also held a demonstration Thursday, demanding greater accountability from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.