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Suicide victim's sister asks people to take down graphic hanging photos

Photos of Michael Bringle's body hanging in Indian Mounds Park have been shared thousands of times.

Photos of Michael Bringle's body hanging in Indian Mounds Park have been shared thousands of times. Wikipedia/McGhiever

By now, tens of thousands of people have seen graphic photos of Michael Bringle hanging from a tree in St. Paul this morning.

His sister, Kelly Brown-Rozowski, can't change that. But she can try to stop the photo from spreading even further. 

Brown-Rozowski appeared with St. Paul Police this afternoon to plead with the public to stop sharing photos of Bringle's hanging on Facebook, and to take down the photos from their pages. 

Some observers online thought it appeared Bringle, 50, had his hands tied behind his back, leading to claims he had been the victim of a "lynching." Black Lives Matter St. Paul took up the cause, claiming that the police and press were "lying" about what happened to Bringle, who is white, and had "a history of mental illness," according to Brown-Rozowski. 

The Ramsey County medical examiner's office, meanwhile, has determined Bringle died by suicide, and reports there were no signs of any other trauma to his body.

In public statements later posted on the St. Paul Police Department's Facebook page, Brown-Rozowski says her brother was born and raised in East St. Paul, "loved working on old cars," and was "a kind person and easy to like." Indian Mounds Park, where Bringle's body was found, was "one of his favorite places," according to his sister.

The department calls the spread of photos of Bringle's death "inconsiderate and downright disgusting," and says it has made the family's experience of a lost loved one more difficult.

"Instead of mourning," reads the police statement, "his family members had to spend part of their day worrying about a photo posted on Facebook of him hanging from a tree and correcting misinformation about his death."