Reports of a Black body found hanged in a tree at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park began circulating on social media early Thursday morning.
Amid recent high-profile incidents of violence against African-American men, many were quick to deem the tragedy a “modern day lynching.” But spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, Donald Hannah, said it’s nothing of the sort.
According to authorities, the person found was the victim of an apparent suicide. Atlanta PD told Atlanta Black Star via Twitter that officers were called to the Charles Allen entrance of the park just before 5 o’clock Thursday morning when they discovered a man’s body hanging from a tree by a rope. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“There were no discernible signs of a struggle or foul play,” Hannah said. “A Fulton County medical examiner concurred that the death was consistent with a suicide.”
According to a direct message from Atlanta PD’s official Twitter account, the individual found hanged was an African-American male, aged 25-35.
Medical examiner “Hagar assumed custody of the unidentified body,” the message stated. “Atlanta Crime Scene Unit L. Robertson photographed the scene. Final cause and manner of death are pending autopsy.”
Although officials have ruled the man’s death a suicide, Black Twitter isn’t buying it.
Many users took to the Twittersphere to express their outrage over the continued violence against Black bodies. Citing the Ku Klux Klan’s recent efforts of restoration, some have even speculated that this “modern day lynching” was their doing. Piedmont Park is also a known meet-up spot for the infamous hate group.
— IG: Slim.Richess (@1Flawless_Boss) July 7, 2016
A MAN HAS BEEN LYNCHED IN A POPULAR KKK MEETUP AREA & THEY WANNA SAY IT WAS A SUICIDE? I'M SO SICK & TIRED RIGHT NOW #PiedmontParkHanging
— Real Tweets™ (@iKeepItTooReal) July 7, 2016
The KKK announces its comeback and 3 horrifying events happen within 2 days ?? #PiedmontParkHanging
— joc (@jaaymaama) July 7, 2016
Is it 2016 or 1916?#PiedmontParkHanging
— Ä (@HeyyyAshley) July 7, 2016
— Mehoy Minoy (@Jaylive212) July 7, 2016
Who really goes into a park to hang themselves from a tree? Sounds more like a lynching. #PiedmontParkHanging
— ❤Model_Leseana F.S.❤ (@Leseana_Freeman) July 7, 2016
As of now, the victim remains unnamed.