Indian Mounds Park death compounded by social media


Micheal Bringle, 50, was found hanging at Indian Mounds Regional Park the morning of Aug.1. His family said he struggled with his mental health for many years. After someone took pictures of his body hanging and spread them on social media, inciting rumors about the man’s race and means of death, the family decided to share this photo of Bringle, asking that others take down the disturbing images. Courtesy of Micheal Bringle family

A man was found hanging from a tree by a passerby in Indian Mounds Regional Park the morning of Aug. 1. According to St. Paul police, officers responded to the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood park at about 5:40 a.m. and the man was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified the man as Micheal Bringle and determined his death to be suicide. He was 50 years old.

Soon after police arrived at the scene, a man passing by the park took photos of the scene while the victim still hung from the tree and shared them on Facebook. The post was shared about 9,500 times by 3 p.m. that same day, circulating rumors about the man’s death and race.

The St. Paul Police Department sent a request to Facebook to have the pictures taken down and later shared a statement on their Facebook page regarding the incident.

“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,” the statement read.

The photos have since been removed from Facebook.

Later that day during a press conference, Bringle’s sister, Kelly Brown-Rozowski, asked that people stop sharing and take down the photos of her brother. 

“We just want his memory to be something positive, other than this,” she said. “We just ask that you all respect our family and respect my brother and know that it was more than likely mental illness in his life.”

Brown-Rozowski added that her brother loved that park, he grew up and lived on the East Side and had a passion for fixing up cars.

“He was a good, hardworking man. He loved his children. He was a great brother,” she said. 

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined Bringle’s death to be suicide and confirmed his hands were not bound and that he was Caucasian, despite rumors that he was African American and his hands were tied. Bringle’s sister said he struggled with his mental health for many years.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and is considering suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-273-8255. Local mental health resources can be found at www.namihelps.org.

 

Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto


 

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