The NYPD officer who committed suicide on the afternoon of Friday, May 13, had reportedly worked to separate himself from several members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.
On Friday, May 13, outside a Long Island golf course, officer Michael Ameri shot himself in the head. The 23 year NYPD veteran had been questioned many times for his connection to a federal corruption investigation.
VIN reported, “A source said that Ameri had expressed concern about the investigation and had severed before Passover his relationship with some members in the Orthodox Jewish community including Alex Shaya Lichtenstein who was arrested in April for bribing police officers in order to get gun permits which he then resold for profit.
Ameri told high-ranking officers in the highway division to stay away from Lichtenstein.
‘He actually told a high ranking officer in the highway division to stay away from Shaya, cut off all communication,’ said the source.
Ameri, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Highway Patrol, reportedly felt that his job was in danger as federal investigators probed whether police provided unauthorized escorts for members of the Orthodox Jewish community.
A Thursday raid by NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, with officers seizing boxes of records relating to police escorts, may have pushed Ameri over the edge, according to a source.
‘He was very distraught by the visit,’ said the source. ‘He felt his career was in jeopardy and he couldn’t deal with the stress and not knowing when everything was coming to a head.’”
Last Thursday, the head of Ameri’s police union Roy Richter called him to try and reassure him that the focus of IAB appeared to be Lieutenant Michael Fargo, Ameri’s close friend who recently submitted his retirement papers.
Richter said, “I told him that he was not in any type of employment jeopardy. There was always that fear and concern and that worry. I thought I put those fears and concerns to rest. It’s obvious I didn’t.”
Fargo, who had just been cleared for retirement, was asked to surrender his gun for his own safety and was placed on modified duty, just hours after Ameri’s death.