A lawyer known for being a champion of LGBT rights died early Saturday morning after setting himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
“I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide,” said a hand-written note on the grass near the remains, according to the New York Daily News. “I apologize to you for the mess.”
The remains of David S. Buckel, 60, were found near Prospect Park West near a popular trail used by joggers and bikers. Police told the Associated Press he was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m. While it appeared he burned himself to death, the NYPD said the cause of death is still under investigation.
Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, according to The New York Times. The note urged people to lead less selfish lives in a way to protect the planet, and said that he hoped his death was “honorable” and “might serve others.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Buckel Set Himself on Fire to Protest Fossil Fuels and Bring Awareness to the Environmental Impact Humans are Having on the Earth
This morning David Buckel set himself on fire in Brooklyn, NY, in protest to protect the planet. He was a prominent lawyer in the fight for gay rights. But he was also a nationally renown pioneer in #CommunityComposting. #DavidBuckel Read my tribute to him https://t.co/HBuA9X5Di1
— Brenda Platt (@PlattBrenda) April 15, 2018
In the note Buckel sent to The Times at 5:55 a.m., he discussed the difficulty of improving the world “even for those who make vigorous efforts to do so.”
Privilege, he said, was derived from the suffering of others, according to the Times.
“Many who drive their own lives to help others often realize that they do not change what causes the need for their help,” Buckel wrote, adding that donating to organizations was not enough to make a real difference.
Buckel said he wanted his death to lead to increased action. “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death,” he wrote, according to his note.
Buckel also wrote in his letter to the Times that “most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result – my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we …read more