A person attempted, on Friday April 19 around 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. in Paris), to set himself on fire in front of the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is appearing, several American media reported. The reasons for this act are currently unknown.

The victim, with both hands behind his head, transformed into a living torch, towards which police officers rushed. After long seconds of burning, his body collapsed to the ground, before a fire extinguisher was used against the blaze. “A man was burned outside the court. We are collecting information on scene,” said an NYPD spokesperson.

According to BBC information, the man was carried on a stretcher by emergency services and his body was “severely burned”. The park, where the man tried to set himself on fire, is closed, and a few dozen police officers are already on site, the media said. The New York court is the subject of increased surveillance due to the almost daily presence of former US President Donald Trump.

We do not know, shortly after this spectacular event, the state in which this person finds himself and the reasons for his action.

Full jury at Trump trial

The drama outside court, the first since the trial opened Monday, unfolded around the time Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the proceedings, proclaimed that the full jury had been selected to judge Donald Trump, i.e. twelve incumbents and six alternates.

The first former US president to appear in a criminal trial, Donald Trump is on trial in a case of hidden payments to buy the silence of a former porn star, Stormy Daniels, a few days before the 2016 election which he won on the wire against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The former President of the United States (2017-2021), candidate for his return to the White House, arrived at the Manhattan court on Friday morning for a fourth day of hearing, protesting once again against “a rigged trial” which prevents him from campaigning. He also targeted the judge presiding over the proceedings, Juan Merchan, the “worst there is”, for forbidding him from attacking witnesses or jurors, an attack according to Donald Trump on “his constitutional right to express himself” freely. It is not immediately clear whether he was made aware of the tragedy outside the court.