He left a note in a shopping cart nearby and had sent the same note by email to several media outlets, including the Times.
The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of Mr Buckel's note, in which he said: "Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather". "Honorable goal in life invites honorable objective in death", he wrote.More news: Man City confirmed as champions after Baggies shock United
David Buckel, 60, had been well-known for his work on behalf of the LGBT community, as well as with environmental groups.
Buckel worked with Teena's mom, JoAnn Brandon, in a lawsuit against Richardson County, accusing Sheriff Charles B. Laux of failing to protect Teena from her rapists, who killed him after he reported the rape. Hilary Swank, who starred in the film, won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Teena.
'A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life...
He reportedly compared his actions to Tibetan monks who have sacrificed themselves to protest Chinese rule, according to Buzzfeed.More news: Woman missing after fall from cruise ship
"It's a very important case, not only within Nebraska but nationally", Buckel said after the $80,000 judgment against the city, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's student newspaper the Daily Nebraskan. He also served in an official capacity on the NYC Compost Project at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is right next to Prospect Park.
He was also the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa, and helped set a precedent that USA schools have a duty to prevent anti-gay bullying.
"He deserves tremendous thanks for recognizing this was in many ways at the heart of what it meant to be gay for many Americans and making it a priority", Susan Sommer, a former attorney at Lambda Legal, told the Times.
"My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide", read a hand-written message left at the scene. "He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory".More news: Beyonce becomes first woman of colour to headline Coachella
"Our thoughts and condolences go out to all those who loved David", Taylor concluded".