St. Paul, MN - Black Lives Matter Minneapolis posted a photo to social media of a man hanging from a tree, telling everybody that the picture was of a black man who had just been lynched.
The group was forced to apologize after it was pointed out that the group was spreading a photo of a white man who had committed suicide by hanging himself.
The group had earlier posted three photos of the dead man's body. They also said that his hands were tied behind his back and that the man had been lynched.
The photos had been posted on social media before it came to the attention of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, by an unidentified man, who posted this caption with the photos: "This is just a few blocks from where my auntie live I was just at this damn park two nights ago! This so damn foul!! I'm so fed up with this s***! They still killing us and we still killing each other! #MakeGoViral."
Organizers from Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, following their fact checking standards (there are none,) saw the photos and post and shared them on Facebook page, claiming the man had been "lynched" and vowing they wouldn't let the incident "go under the rug."
The man's body actually belonged to Michael Bringle, age 50, is white. His hands were not tied behind his back, and he had killed himself.
Black Lives Minneapolis continued with the posts even after the police told them otherwise. Bringle was found hanging from a tree just before 6 AM Tuesday at Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul.
They never pulled the post despite a report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner that there was no evidence that Bringle's death was anything other than a suicide. Police urged people to stop sharing the post, and to remove it from their timeline out of respect for the family, but Black Lives Matter Minneapolis did not immediately do the right thing.
We would like to apologize to the family of Micheal Bringle for sharing those photos & also retract our statements regarding what happened this morning. 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.
Group organizers said that they had taken the post down, but it was too late - it had been posted for hours, and had widely been shared. Bringle's sister, Kelly Brown-Rozowski, said that she was "devastated". She said, "This isn’t something to be shared in such a tragic way; he should be remembered for what a great man he was."
St. Paul Police Sergeant Mike Ernster said that the post was "disgusting".
According to Fox News, the post had not been removed as of early Wednesday morning, and had been shared over 12,600 times.
Reaction in the form of comments to the post on the group's Facebook page were condemning and matter-of-fact. One comment accused Black Lives Matter Minneapolis of taking the post down so that the comments could be removed as well.