Fact Check

New York ICE Agent Suicide Note

A habitual purveyor of misinformation leveraged the tragic suicide of an ICE agent to make outlandish and false claims about his death.

Published May 9, 2016

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent left a suicide note warning of looming mass disarmament and collapse in the United States.

On 9 May 2016, the unreliable web site Superstation95 claimed that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent left a suicide note in New York City warning that a number of frightening conspiracy theories were about to come to pass:

After writing a lengthy suicide note exposing terrifying plans the government has for American citizens, a US Customs Agent walked onto a pier in NYC and blew his brains out.

Sources inside the New York City Police Department have revealed to SuperStation95, the contents of a suicide note found on the body and they are utterly frightening.

The note, which says it was written over the course of a full week in advance, outlines why the officer chose to shoot himself:

"The America I grew up in, and cherished, has been murdered by its own federal government. Our Constitution has become meaningless and our laws politicized so badly, they are no longer enforced except for political purposes" the note said. "Our elected officials are, to a person, utterly corrupt and completely devoid of any love or respect for the country which pays them. To them, everything is about getting and keeping power, and making illicit money from backroom deals."

ICE released a statement Friday afternoon: 'Tragically, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer from the New York field office suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and has passed away.'

It added: 'The agency is not releasing further details pending notification of the officer's next of kin.

According to the suicide note, the Officer said:

"I was hired to enforce the law; to capture and deport people who come to this country against our laws. But now, if I dare to do that, I face being suspended or fired because our President refuses to faithfully execute the duties of his office. Instead, I come to work each day, and collect a paycheck twice a month, for intentionally doing little to nothing. I cannot and will not be party to this fraud; to this usurpation of the law, or to the despicable politicians betraying our nation" the note continued.

In the suicide note, the officer revealed what he claimed are terrifying plans the feds have been finalizing:

"If the American people knew what this government is planning, they would rise-up and overthrow it. If I or anyone else in the federal government revealed what is coming, we would be killed anyway, so now I will reveal what I know.

We in federal law enforcement have been drilling for several years to control riots and uprisings from a coming financial collapse and widespread bank failures. The drills involve life-sized images of American men, even women and children, whom we are told to shoot for "practice" and to "get used to it."

We have been told that the economy is terminally ill and will fail in 2016. We are also told the banks are all insolvent and the FDIC doesn't have nearly enough funds to bail out depositors. We are told these events are unavoidable and it is imperative that the government survive when people rise-up over this.

When the collapse takes place, detention camps created under the FEMA REX-84 program in the 1980's to house illegal aliens whom we were going to deport, will instead be used to imprison American Citizens whom the government feels constitute a "threat." American citizens will be rounded-up without warrants and imprisoned without trial for God knows how long.

These camps have been equipped to carry out Hitler-scale killings! An actual "purge" of Americans citizens by the very government which they, themselves, created and pay for! I cannot be party to this."

Only SuperStation95 reported on the alarming details of suicide note purportedly left at the scene (without any background information on how they came to be in possession of such a sensitive document).

Superstation95 is an online presence that is neither a "superstation" nor a legitimate news source, but rather a repository of misinformation from Hal Turner, a white supremacist who was sentenced in 2010 to 33 months in prison for making death threats against three federal judges. (The individual listed on the site's "Contact" page is Turner's criminal lawyer.)

Beginning in late 2015, Turner's Superstation95 began spreading alarmist hoaxes and conspiracy theories on social media, frequently building upon legitimate tragic or frightening events with falsified details. Among the most widespread of these were claims that a large group of Muslim men fired upon campers and hikers in California, that Fukushima radiation caused severe mutations in marine life, that cargo ships mysteriously ground to a halt and signaled an imminent economic catastrophe, that a deadly Las Vegas strip crash involved a driver shouting "Allahu Akbar," that the San Bernardino shooting occurred because the shooter was offended by pork served at a holiday party shortly before the massacre, and that the Earth's "magnetosphere" collapsed for two hours.

The site's claims spanned many conspiracy themes, but remained cohesive in their consistent lack of credibility, accuracy, or respect for the victims of tragedies. As with prior topical yet fabricated information from the site, Superstation95 used an actual event (the death of an ICE agent) to add untruths that seemed to have been written for the sole purpose of gaining pageviews.

We contacted the New York Police Department on 9 May 2016 and received the following statement in response:

On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 1049 hours, police officers responded to a report of a person shot in the vicinity of West Street and Houston Street (Pier 40), located within the confines of the 6th Precinct. Upon arrival, responding officers discovered a 42 year old male with a gunshot wound to his head. EMS also responded to the location and transported the male to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. There is no criminality suspected in regard to this incident and the investigation is ongoing.

No note was found.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.