A young Black man was found hanging by a rope in an Atlanta park Thursday in a case officials claim was a suicide, but social media has questioned police accounts, saying the KKK was present in the area earlier that day.
Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, said the FBI will investigate the unidentified man’s death hours after #PiedmontParkHanging began trending on Twitter.
“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,” said Reed in a written statement.
Social media users tweeted that KKK members had been passing out flyers in the park that night and are known to often frequent the park. They also demanded a thorough investigation of the “modern-day lynching,” questioning the quick confirmation of suicide before performing an autopsy.
Police were called to the entrance of Piedmont Park at just before 5 a.m., reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and shortly after the man was pronounced dead.
The county medical examiner’s office investigator “concurred that the death was consistent with a suicide,” said the police.
Media previously reported KKK recruitment efforts in the Atlanta metro area and a “White Lives Matter” rally at a Confederate monument little over a dozen miles from the park.
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