Demand the FBI Investigate the Deaths of Malcolm Harsch & Robert Fuller

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This petition demands that California Governor Gavin Newsom immediately request and enlist the full probative powers of the FBI Offices in San Bernardino and Los Angeles to thoroughly and impartially investigate the hanging deaths of Malcolm Harsch and Robert Fuller.

On May 31, 2020, Mr. Malcolm Harsch was found dead hanging from a tree near the Victorville City Library in Victorville, CA.  The local investigation is being conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.  Despite the Sheriff's Dept. Spokeswoman, Jodi Miller, stating on June 13, 2020, that "the cause and manner of [Mr. Harsch's] death are still pending," she also quickly pointed out in that same statement that the San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept. had already ruled out foul play as a cause of death.

Ten days later, on June 10, 2020, Mr. Robert Fuller was found dead hanging from a tree near the Palmdale City Hall in Palmdale, CA.  The local investigation is being conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department but, as with Mr. Harsch, the Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Dept. has already ruled out foul play and considers Mr. Fuller's death a "suicide."

Victorville and Palmdale are 50 miles apart.  Both are in the "high desert" area of the Mojave Desert.  Both have tiny African-American populations.  Both have a recent history of overt racial discrimination. 

Victorville officials have remained unwilling to enlist additional outside investigatory services and remain steadfast in keeping their investigation internal.

Regarding Palmdale, on Saturday, June 13, 2020, due to pressure from community leaders and heightened scrutiny from the press, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger formally requested that California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra investigate the death of Mr. Fuller in Palmdale.  However well-intentioned this request, given the current sociopolitical climate we find ourselves experiencing daily in America, we have little faith in any local law enforcement investigating these deaths. 

In 2019, Mr. Becerra threatened two Berkeley-based reporters with legal action for being in possession of and possibly publishing the State's official list of police officers convicted of crimes.

Ms. Barger is a long time advocate of both the police and the prosecutorial powers of the State.  In 2018, Ms. Barger co-authored a motion to create a "Blue Ribbon" panel within Los Angeles County with its purpose being to directly challenge recent criminal justice reforms that had passed by large majorities within both the State of California and Los Angeles County.

THEREFORE, we demand that Governor Newsom take the necessary and proper step of calling on the expertise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to oversee any criminal investigation into both of these deaths.