Black Teen Found Dead by Hanging in Texas

A black teenager has been found dead by hanging in the parking lot of a school in Texas, according to authorities.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said deputies found the teenager's body in the parking lot of Ehrhardt Elementary School in Spring, Texas, located just north of Houston.

"Based on security video, witnesses and other evidence, preliminary indications are the male hanged himself," the sheriff's office said on Twitter. "There are currently no signs of foul play," it added.

The sheriff's office added that an official cause of death has yet to be determined, pending an autopsy. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has been contacted for additional comment.

The teenager's death comes after police found a Hispanic man hanging from a tree in an "apparent suicide" in the Shady Acres neighborhood of Houston, Texas on Monday.

"Foul play is not suspected. Investigators are awaiting an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences," Houston police tweeted on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, federal authorities are reviewing local investigations into the recent hanging deaths of two African American men in two California cities.

Local authorities have said there is no evidence of foul play in the deaths of Robert Fuller in Palmdale or Malcolm Harsch in Victorville. Early indications pointed to suicide in both cases, authorities said, but sheriffs have now pledged to continue to investigate the cases.

The initial determination of suicide as the likely cause of death for 24-year-old Fuller sparked protests over the weekend, with activists voicing concerns that he may have been lynched and denouncing what they said was a rush to judgment by authorities.

The FBI confirmed a review of the deaths in a statement on Monday.

"The FBI, U.S. Attorney's office for the Central District of California and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are actively reviewing the investigations into the hanging deaths of two African American men in the cities of Palmdale and Victorville to determine whether there are violations of federal law," the bureau said.

Fuller's body was discovered at around 3.30 a.m. on June 10 in a park near Palmdale City Hall. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office has confirmed that Fuller's cause of death will be deferred pending additional investigation.

Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree near the Victorville city library on May 31.

His family said they regard his death as suspicious and said they were concerned the investigation was taking a long time.

"The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible," they added, according to USA Today. "We want justice, not comfortable excuses."

The deaths come amid heightened tensions over race in the U.S. following weeks of protests against police brutality and systemic racism sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

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A Black Lives Matter sign and flowers can be seen on the ground at a makeshift memorial at Palmdale City Hall for Robert Fuller, a young black man who was found hanging from a tree, on June 16, 2020, in Palmdale, California. Ariana Drehsler/AFP via Getty Images