David Buckel death: Prominent US lawyer sets himself on fire in New York park during climate change protest

A prominent US gay rights lawyer and environmental advocate set himself on fire in a New York City park during a protest.

David Buckel, 60, was found dead by passers-by in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Saturday.

Police said he was pronounced dead at about 11.30am GMT (6.30am local time).

The Daily News reports that Mr Buckel left a note in a shopping cart near his body.

The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of the note, which read: “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.”

Mr Buckel was the lead attorney in a lawsuit involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska, the Associated Press reported.

Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Teena in the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.” 

Susan Sommer, a former Lambda Legal attorney who is now the general counsel for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, said Mr Buckel “was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human.”

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123

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