ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police and relatives of a Minnesota man who officials say hanged himself in a city park want the public to stop sharing photos of his death that have sparked social media speculation that he was the victim of a hate crime.
St. Paul police say a passerby discovered 50-year-old Michael Bringle hanging from a tree early Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports a Facebook post that featured a photo of Bringle included speculation that the man was black and that his hands were tied behind his back. Bringle was white.
The post has been shared thousands of times.
The Ramsey County medical examiner says there's no evidence the death was anything other than a suicide. St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster called the post disgusting.
Bringle's sister, Kelly Brown-Rozowski, said at a press conference that her brother should be remembered as a kind person and the rumors only compounded their tragedy.