The body of a black male was found hanging from a tree in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park Thursday morning. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed referred the case to the FBI after a Fulton County coroner found that his death was “consistent with a suicide.”
The Atlanta Police Department is conducting its own investigation, and Reed promised the public it will provide regular updates on its progress, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. The victim’s name has not been released.
“Everything we have seen suggests that there was no foul play involved, but I want to state clearly and unequivocally that we will not prejudge the circumstances surrounding this young man’s death,” Reed said in a statement.
Referral to the FBI came after outrage on social media about the coroner’s determination that the death was a suicide. There are unconfirmed reports that KKK flyers had been passed out in the park hours before the body was recovered, but others have reported that the flyer was actually from Virginia.
Police spokesman Donald Hannah said, “There were no discernible signs of a struggle or foul play.”
Now they found a black man hanging from a tree in #PiedmontPark and ruled it a suicide. I’m not an expert but I don’t think that’s true.
— kyrie swerving (@sharkweezyyy) July 7, 2016
#piedmontpark . Today a black man found hanging from a tree after the KKK were seen handing out flyers in the area. No media coverage
— YAMAMANEM (@grimygus) July 7, 2016
@AubreyGOVO The flyer’s from Virginia, Piedmont Park is in Georgia
— ViezaKotbviw (@IAmMeba) July 7, 2016