image Piedmont Park Hanging Victim Identified As Black Gay Male

So do you all remember the story that went viral last week about the hanging death of a black male in Atlanta? Well, the Atlanta Police Department identified the body of the victim as Michael George Smith, Jr.

The 22-year-old Hackensack, New Jersey native, who lived in Midtown, was found hanging from a tree on the Charles Allen Drive entrance to the park at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday. This was during the week everyone protested in Atlanta.

The Fulton County Medical Examiners ruled Smith’s death as a suicide. The cause of his death was asphyxiation – a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from abnormal breathing, or choking.

The story gets even sadder when it’s discovered through sources that he’s been struggling with his sexuality, family, and health issues. He was diagnosed with cancer, his family were against him for being gay, and he was also a computer science major at Georgia Tech. Last month, Smith made Facebook post along with the picture below, what appears to be a screenshot from his Snapchat message, about how his mother is teaching his siblings how to despise gays.

He made several haunting Facebook post, which he went by London Jermaine, about preparing for his death. People that knew him posted to his page and said that he was a good person. His last post on his Facebook page read: “I see y’all in the next Life… Deadass [emojis] Father forgive me.”

Atlanta Police Officers also added that there were no signs of struggle or defensive wounds on his body. They did discovered Smith’s shoe prints were left on a lid of a large-wheeled garbage can next to the tree, light pollen on his shoes, and marks on his shirt and jeans from climbing the tree.

This is very heartbroking news. No one deserves to take their own life just because no one accepts them for who they are and the struggles that follows behind the feeling of rejection. If you see someone in need of help or support in situations like this, always try to be