The Suffolk County Police Department received a 911 call at approximately 7:20 a.m. June 22 regarding an adult man hanging in the woods in Peter A. Nelson Park on Oakwood Road in West Hills.
According to SCPD, the death is being preliminarily classified as a non-criminal suicide based on evidence at the scene and at the male’s residence which includes a letter to his family with his reasons for his actions.
An autopsy will be performed by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner, and the family has requested that their identity, as well as the identity of the deceased, be withheld to protect their privacy.
“As a matter of policy, the Suffolk County Police Department does not normally comment on non-criminal death investigations,” a statement read. “The department investigates approximately 100 suicides annually. However, we are aware of unfortunate rumors circulating on social media and throughout the community regarding this investigation, and believe that it is in the public’s interest to issue this statement to allay any fears and quell rumors with facts.”
News of the man found hanging in Huntington spread through social media. There has been a rash of black men found hanging from trees in multiple states including California, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and New York just within the past few weeks. Police and other authorities have named all of those cases suicides, but members of the Black community have largely been skeptical, noting the long history of lynchings in America.
This post will be updated if more information becomes available.