Man Immolates Self in Prospect Park in Ecology Protest

NEW YORK (AP) -

A well-known lawyer and environmental advocate burned himself to death in New York City on Saturday in a grisly protest against ecological destruction.

The charred remains of 60-year-old David Buckel were found by passers-by in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Police said he was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m.

The Daily News reports that Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near his body that said he hoped his death was “honorable” and “might serve others.”

The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of the note, which also said, “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 are doing to ourselves.”

Susan Sommer, the general counsel for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, told the Times that Buckel “was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human.”

Sommer added, “He was a very smart and methodical lawyer. He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory.”