A young black man who was found hanging from a tree in Atlanta, has been confirmed as Michael George Smith Jnr. known to his friends as London Jermaine.

A young African-American man who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a public park has been identified as Michael George Smith Jnr. known to his friends as London Jermaine. London Jermaine identified as a gay man, who described members of his family, on his social media account, as despising gay people.

The discovery of Smith’s body became a trending topic on Twitter after many believed that his hanging was a modern-day lynching.


The Fulton Country Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that his death was caused by suicide with no defensive wounds or signs of struggle apparent on the 22-year-old’s body.

Moments before he took his life, the student wrote a heartbreaking message on Facebook telling his friends and family that he’d see them “in the next life”.

He wrote,

“I see y’all in the nextLife… Deadass. Father forgive me.”


The Georgia Tech student had posted a message on the 17th June which accused his mother of teaching his siblings to “despise” gays.  He said,

“My mother is teaching my siblings to dispise Gays.. I’m done with Life. I’m Hurt To The Core.”

According to another post an unnamed sibling told him:

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“God doesn’t born gay people. You make yourself gay.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here

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