Environmental advocate dies after setting himself on fire in NY

The winners of Brooklyn Law School's Legal Tech Innovators Competition Joseph Santiago and Christopher Aranguren. Eagle

The winners of Brooklyn Law School's Legal Tech Innovators Competition Joseph Santiago and Christopher Aranguren. Eagle

A prominent LGBT rights lawyer and environmental advocate was found dead in NY on Saturday (April 14), after reportedly setting himself on fire using fossil fuel in a protest against ecological destruction.

David Buckel, 60, was pronounced dead after he self-immolated at Brooklyn's Prospect Park early on Saturday, the New York Times reported.

Friends said that after he left the organization, Mr. Buckel became involved in environmental causes, which he alluded to in his note as the reason he made a decision to end his life by self-immolation with fossil fuels.

Buckel was the lead attorney in the case of a transgender man whose murder inspired the Hillary Swank film Boys Don't Cry.

Buckel, who lived near the park, was a renowned lawyer and activist who worked with the Marriage Project for the gay civil rights group Lambda Legal.

He left the note in a manila envelope marked "To The Police", recovered from inside a black metal pushcart he discarded at the scene.

A county sheriff was found negligent in the killing for his failure to protect Teena from his rapists - who returned and killed him once he went to authorities.

"My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide", the note reportedly said.

"Honorable objective in life invites honorable goal in death", he concluded.

He added, "A life of privilege requires actions to balance the harm caused, and the greater the privilege, the greater the responsibility".

Buckel ran the NYC Composting Project out of Red Hook Community Farm.

'Here is a hope that giving a life might bring some attention to the need for expanded actions, and help others give a voice to our home, and Earth is heard'. Friends confirmed that after Buckel left Lambda Legal he got involved with environmental activism.

By the time firefighters got there, his entire body had been burned, FDNY officials said.

"We were a little freaked out", said a jogger who stumbled across the gruesome remains before the victim's body was covered with a tarp by first responders.

He also fought for the right of gay high-school students in Salt Lake City to organize a club, and argued against discrimination in the Boy Scoutss of America and the military. David was a lovely human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work'.

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