ATLANTA — Police have released their initial report about the death of a man found hanging at Piedmont Park.
According to the police report, an officer arrived at the park Thursday morning in response to a call from a security officer who found a man hanging from a tree.
"We can't release the man's name until we've contacted his family," Mayor Kasim Reed said.
Upon examining the body, police said it appeared an African-American man had tied a white rope to a thick branch of a tree and then around his neck and hanged himself.
Reed appeared at police reform protests Friday and told one protester, “I understand your fear and I’m trying to respond to it but until I speak to that man’s family, I can’t talk to you about what he’s been through and respectfully, I know a little bit more than you all do about this situation.”
The man had earbuds in his ears and a backpack still around his waist.
The officer said the man appeared to be dead when he arrived.
A detective said next to the tree was a large green wheeled garbage can with a black top. The garbage can was touching the bottom of the tree and was nearly full of trash.
He said there were shoe prints on top of the trash can that appeared to be fresh and were the same pattern as the shoes the male was wearing Converse All-Stars.
The man had marks consistent with climbing a tree and light pollen on his shirt.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has asked the FBI to investigate the death.
“The simple fact of the matter is there are no facts that suggest foul play around Piedmont Park and we immediately turned it over to the FBI for absolute transparency," Reed said.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a young man’s life last night in Piedmont Park. This disturbing event demands our full attention. The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is conducting a robust investigation into his death and I have asked to receive regular briefings on the status of the investigation," the mayor said in a statement.
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