INSTITUTE INDEX: Strange fruit hanging still?

Robert Fuller is one of at least six Black and Brown people whose hanging deaths have made headlines in recent months and evoked memories of lynchings. (Photo of Fuller is from this petition calling for an investigation into his death.)

Content warning: This story includes discussion about acts of harm that police officials have deemed suicide, particularly among people of color. If you believe that you or someone you know is in crisis or emotional distress, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, 24-7 counseling hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255).

Number of Black men, women, and children who were victims of racial terror lynchings in the United States between Reconstruction and World War II, according to a report from the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative: over 4,400

In response to Black people asserting their political and human rights following the end of slavery, number of Black people who were lynched during the 12-year Reconstruction period across the South as well as in Northern states including New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania: over 2,000

According to Jay Driskell, a consulting historian for the Restorative Justice Project based at Northeastern University in Boston, number of lynchings of Black Americans between 1930 and 1956 that were purposefully ruled as suicides: dozens

Number of Black and Brown people whose hanging deaths in public places have made headlines in recent months amid the national Black Lives Matter uprising, evoking painful memories of lynchings and suspicions that some of the deaths may have been falsely ruled suicides: at least 6 

Date on which Malcolm Harsch, a homeless Black man, was found hanging from a tree in the Southern California city of Victorville: 5/31/2020 

After quickly being ruled a suicide, which Harsch's family now believes to be true after reviewing further evidence, number of days it took for his body to be given a full autopsy: 12 

Number of miles away from the site of Harsch's death that another Black man, Robert Fuller, was found hanging from a tree across from city hall in Palmdale, California, on June 12: 50 

Amount of time before his death that Fuller had attended a Black Lives Matter protest: just days

Number of people who signed petitions calling for further investigation into Fuller's death: over 700,000

Date on which federal authorities announced they would review the recent California hanging deaths to determine whether any federal laws were violated: 6/15/2020

Date on which Dominique Alexander, a Black man from the Bronx, was found hanging in a Manhattan park, drawing comparisons to the deaths of Harsch and Fuller: 6/9/2020

Number of days after a Hispanic man was found hanged from a tree on a boulevard in Houston that a 17-year-old Black boy was found hanged from a tree in the playground area of a Houston elementary school, with both of those deaths being quickly ruled suicides by authorities: 2

Of the 512 suicides in 2018 in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, percent that were hanging deaths: 26

According to Kayla Johnson, a staff psychologist at Prairie View A&M in Texas, how common it is for people to die by suicide in public places: rare

(Click on figure to go to source.)