On Thursday, July 7, 2016, London Jermaine wrote his final Facebook post: “I see y’all in the next Life… Deadass ?✌️ Father forgive me”
The 22-year-old Midtown Atlanta resident born Michael George Smith Jr. committed suicide. Piedmont Park security officer Charles Butler found him hanging from a tree near the Charles Allen Drive entrance of Atlanta’s celebrated Piedmont Park at about 4:30 a.m. Smith, aka London Jermaine, tied a white rope to a thick branch of a tree and then around his neck and hanged himself near the “Free Nelson Mandela” monument. He was dressed in a gray t-shirt, black Chuck Taylors with earbuds in his ear.
The young man who identified himself on Instagram as an actor, model and entrepreneur regularly posted colorful memes, many were humorous. He even posted on Facebook on June 29 that his nationality was “British, Jamaican, American!”
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that Smith’s cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging and the manner of death was suicide.
The native of Hackensack, New Jersey was gay-shamed by “Jeremiah” in a text message which he shared with his Facebook village, leading many to believe it was prompted him to take his own life.
“God doesn’t born gay people. You make yourself gay.” Smith added this status to the image: “My mother is teaching my siblings to dispise Gays.. I’m done with Life. I’m Hurt To The Core.”
Not taking the social media speculation about the death for granted, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed asked the FBI to look into his death, writing on Facebook:
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a young man’s life last night in Piedmont Park. This disturbing event demands our full attention. The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is conducting a robust investigation into his death and I have asked to receive regular briefings on the status of the investigation. We have also referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Everything we have seen suggests that there was no foul play involved, but I want to state clearly and unequivocally that we will not prejudge the circumstances surrounding this young man’s death. APD will share all evidence discovered in the course of the investigation. We ask for the public’s support and cooperation as we work to resolve this matter.”