One week ago today, an unidentified Black male was found hanging in Piedmont park (click HERE if you missed that).
In light of the many incidents of racial injustice over the past few weeks, social media users immediately questioned the authorities findings that the incident was a suicide.
The young man has now been identified as 22 year old London Jermaine and according to his social media posts, authorities may have been justified in their quick assessment of the case.
According to ProjectQAtlanta, London Jermaine was a young Gay resident of Midtown Atlanta who seemed to indicate that the end was near in a facebook post updated on the day of his death.
On Tuesday, after Smith’s name was released publicly, friends and relatives quickly identified him as London Jermaine on social media.
Thursday, July 7, 2016, London Jermaine wrote his final Facebook post, stating:
Piedmont Park security officer Charles Butler found Smith hanging from a tree near the Charles Allen Drive entrance of Atlanta’s celebrated Piedmont Park at about 4:30 a.m. Smith, aka London Jermaine, tied a white rope to a thick branch of a tree and then around his neck and hanged himself near the “Free Nelson Mandela” monument. He was dressed in a gray t-shirt, black Chuck Taylors with earbuds in his ear.
The young man identified himself as an actor, model and entrepreneur on Instagram and he was native of Hackensack, New Jersey. While his Facebook profile says he lived in Midtown and studied computer science at Georgia Tech, a spokesperson for the school revealed that Tech doesn’t have a student enrolled matching Smith’s information.
Smith was also gay and shared experiences of being ‘gay-shamed’ by many of his family and friends, leading many to believe that was what prompted him to take his own life.
Prior to the above information regarding Smith’s state of mind being released, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed asked the FBI to look into his death. Mayor Reed issued the following statement via The APD’s Facebook page:
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a young man’s life last night in Piedmont Park. This disturbing event demands our full attention. The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is conducting a robust investigation into his death and I have asked to receive regular briefings on the status of the investigation. We have also referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 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. APD will share all evidence discovered in the course of the investigation. We ask for the public’s support and cooperation as we work to resolve this matter.”
Atlanta police released the identity of Smith in an effort to quash social media speculation that his death was a “modern-day lynching.”
Smith’s suicide came during a week of protests in Atlanta and across the nation over recent police shootings and Mayor Kasim Reed faced questions about Smith’s death from protesters on Friday.
What are your thoughts on this tragic incident?
Photos via Facebook