St. Paul police said a man found hanging from a tree in Indian Mounds Park Tuesday morning died of suicide.
The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office determined that Michael Robert Bringle, 50, died of suicide, said police spokesman Steve Linders. Ramsey County officials announced the cause of death after erroneous allegations on social media that he was hanged by police.
Bringle’s sister, Kelly Brown-Rozowski, said her brother was a kind man who had mental health problems.
She spoke to reporters, along with police, at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the park.
Davion Gatlin, who was walking past the park Tuesday morning, took photos of Bringle, who is white, hanging from a tree and posted them on Facebook. Thousands of people shared the images. A Black Lives Matter St. Paul Facebook page posted a statement Tuesday that a black man had been “lynched” and that his hands were tied behind his back.
Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said people were spreading lies on social media and Bringle’s hands were not tied.
“To me, hearing about it on Facebook was so devastating,” Brown-Rozowski said. “This isn’t something to be shared in such a tragic way; he should be remembered for what a great man he was.”