MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis chapter of the Black Lives Matter organization has issued a formal apology on its Facebook page after posting photos of a suicide victim on its page, alleging the incident was in fact a lynching.
The incident began when Micheal R. Bringle, 50, took his own life at Indian Mounds Regional Park in St. Paul early Tuesday morning. Bringle, is a middle-aged, white, man who hung himself, but the narrative of the tragic death changed drastically.
Davion Gatlin, a young black man saw the body of Bringle hanging and took photos, posting them on Facebook.
“[W]e ride pass the park around 6am and witness a brother hanging dead from a tree!” Gatlin wrote on Facebook, reports the Washington Times. “They still killing us and we still killing each other! #MakeGoViral”
Local Minnesota chapters for the Black Lives Matter movement took to Facebook sharing the heartbreaking photos with their followers.
“A man was found lynched in St. Paul, MN this morning,” the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis chapter wrote on their Facebook page according to the Washington Times. “St. Paul PD was quick to call this a suicide while witnesses on the scene say the man’s hands were tied behind his back. We are hurt by the tragic news and know that this despicable & disgusting act of cowardice will not be erased.”
Black Lives Matter claimed Bringle was a black man with his hands tied behind his back.
St. Paul Police took to Facebook to clear the air and condemn the postings of Bringle’s body online.
“His name was Micheal Bringle, and instead of mourning, his family members had to spend part of their day worrying about a photo posted on Facebook of him hanging from a tree and correcting misinformation about his death,” St. Paul Police wrote. “Micheal’s passing is incredibly hard on those who cared about him, and their pain has been compounded by the inconsiderate and downright disgusting act of posting and sharing a picture of him hanging from a tree on Facebook.”
Black Lives Matter took the post down and offered an apology. “We would like to apologize to the family of Micheal Bringle for sharing those photos & also retract our statements regarding what happened this morning,” the group wrote. “As more information came out & Mr.Bringle’s family came forward it became clear that this was an unfortunate incident caused by mental illness. We are sorry if our post offended anyone & hope that folks see we were simply echoing the questions and concerns that community members had.
“We will absolutely respect the family’s wishes and take down the initial post, our hearts are with them at this time.
“National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.”
As of Thursday morning, the photos of Bringle have been removed from social media.