Brooklyn, NY – The NYPD officer who took his own life on Friday afternoon had reportedly taken steps to distance himself from some members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.
As previously reported on TOT News, Inspector Michael Ameri, a 23 year veteran of the NYPD who had been questioned several times in connection with federal corruption probe, shot himself in the head on Friday afternoon outside a Long Island golf course.
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 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 Shaya 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.”
Roy Richter, head of Ameri’s police union, called him on Thursday and tried to reassure him, telling him that IAB seemed to be focused on Lieutenant Michael Fargo, a close friend of Ameri’s who had just submitted his retirement papers.
“I told him that he was not in any type of employment jeopardy,” said Richter. “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.”
Hours after Ameri’s death, Fargo, who had just been cleared for retirement, was asked to surrender his gun for his own safety and was placed on modified duty.