Palmdale community demands answers in Robert Fuller hanging death

Palmdale community members continue to gather outside of City Hall, demanding answers in Robert Fuller's hanging death.

On Monday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva vowed to conduct a thorough investigation with cooperation from state and federal law enforcement. Community members and friends of Fuller said they want another look at his case.

RELATED: Robert Fuller hanging death: State, FBI to oversee probe into Palmdale man's death

"I need evidence. I  want to know what happened, and I want to know if he did it, if he didn't do it, who brought him here, who did it to him, and for me, it's just, getting closure would make me feel a  lot better if I knew what was going on, and why he was here at this park and when he took his last breath," said Tommie Anderson.

Anderson said Fuller was her "best friend," and she found out about his death while working a 12-hour shift.  

"Over and over, I kept reading the articles, and I'm reading this and it just didn't make sense," she said.

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Fuller was found with a rope around his neck about 3:40 a.m. Wednesday in Poncitlan Square, across from Palmdale City Hall. Authorities initially said the death appeared to be a suicide, although an official cause of death has not yet been made.  

"For something like this for people to be like 'oh it's mental illness, it's depression, it's things like that,' it doesn't make sense, Robert was a happy person. He's my best friend and I know him and he wouldn't have done this," Anderson said.  

RELATED: City of Palmdale supports probe into young man's hanging death; Another man found dead in Victorville

A group of people gathered at the park area on Monday, including Terrence Powell, a local coach.

"Considering the racial climate right now, I think it's of our utmost concern," said Powell.

Powell mentioned the historical significance of Fuller's hanging death, and how hangings spark emotion in the community.

"When we find black men swinging from trees, that's gone on for far too many generations so we just need answers. We don't know the exact cause yet but we're hoping to hear from the city about that. It's time for it to end so let's end it. Let's quit talking about 'shall overcome.' Stop putting it in the future, and put it in the present," said Powell.

Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas told reporters Monday the death was consistent with suicide and there were no signs of foul play, but Anderson and other community members do not believe that's the case.

"I'm not angry. I just want peace and I want to know what happened to Robert and he needs justice, people need to know he didn't do this to himself. I believe he didn't do it, and I'm going to take my belief as far as I can. I need everyone to believe me. I need everyone to believe his sisters too," said Anderson.

A virtual town hall took place from 2-4 p.m. Monday with community members, Sheriff Villanueva, and captains from the two cities' sheriff's stations.