Black Lives Matter Minnesota has now officially apologized for spreading the false claim that a black man had been “lynched” and hung to death in a public park after officials confirmed that the man hung himself and was in fact white.
City Pages reports that soon after 50-year-old Michael Bringle was found dead by hanging early Tuesday, BLM Minnesota activist Davion Gatlin posted three images of the tragic incident to Facebook with the message, “They still killing us and we still killing each other!” along with the hashtag #MakeGoViral.
The post did indeed go viral, with many who shared it believing the false assumption that the man was African-American and that his hands were “tied behind his back.” Pioneer Press reports that Gatlin’s post “was shared more than 11,500 times in a 13-hour span.”
But within hours, officials had determined that his death was a suicide, the man was Caucasian, and his hands were not tied behind his back. The chief investigator told the outlet that there was no reason to believe his death was “anything but a suicide.”
St. Paul Police issued a statement later that day on Facebook explaining that the man’s death had been ruled a suicide: