Unhinged Former Fox Employee Shoots Himself At NYC HQ To Protest Workplace Bullying (VIDEO)

Was former Fox News producer Phillip Perea mentally unstable from the start, or did systematic workplace bullying destroy him from within? Alas, we’ll never get the chance to find out, because Perea’s chilling last video from January 26th also serves as his suicide note.

Heather Holland and Trevor Kapp from DNA Info, NYC report 41-year-old Perea shot himself dead in front of the Fox News Corp. building in New York City Monday morning.

Security in the building told police that the man, a Texas-resident, had left a suicide note and said “Fox ruined his life” before pulling the trigger on himself, police sources said.

The paramedics took Perea to Bellevue Hospital but an update from The New York Post pronounced him dead.

The Irvine, TX resident worked for KTBC Fox 7, a local news station out of Austin, TX. Perea’s troubles may have began in Feb., 2014 when — according to The Austin Chronicle — a news segment he produced fell afoul of Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.

The situation sparked from a Feb. 20 incident, when two Austin police officers arrested a jaywalking jogger, Amanda Jo Stephen, near the UT campus. A cell-phone video of the bust – in which the cops can be seen grabbing Stephen to stop her, and she goes limp – went viral, sparking international backlash over the alleged force used by the officers.

Perea posted a photo on Facebook with Amanda Jo Stephen getting manhandled for jaywalking next to an unrelated photo of Acevedo laughing, where it proceeded to go viral and humiliate Acevedo and his police department.

Wait — Fox News being sensationalist instead of informative? Why would Perea’s bosses have a problem with that? Perhaps it had something to do with Acevedo refusing to give KTBC any interviews, which couldn’t have been good for ratings.

Photo of Perrea's segment and post that went viral

Photo of Perea’s segment and Facebook post that went viral and ticked off Austin police via the Austin Chronicle.

In July, 2014 Perea began posting a series of videos on YouTube featuring recorded conversations with his boss and coworkers claiming he was being systematically bullied, and was given no recourse or means for defending himself and his reputation. You can watch themhere, but after awhile they all sound the same.

It’s easy to dismiss someone like Perea as some unhinged, disgruntled worker until you consider the fact that nowadays — thanks to corporate consolidation, lack of worker protections, and a tough job market  — corporations have the power to destroy us, and today’s workers don’t have many options when things go wrong or workplace politics put them on the outs.

The Work Place Bullying Institute reports that workplace bullying and abuse is a pervasive problem in the US, with 27 percent of workers surveyed reporting they have experienced it directly.

On Jan. 23, Perea plaintively posted on Twitter:

Congratulations FOX, this is all the money I have left to my name, $104

Phillip Perea @PhillipPerea73  ·  Jan 22 Congratulations FOX, this is all the money I have left to my name, $104 #theamericanworkplacebully

Phillip Perea’s tweet: Jan 22 Congratulations FOX, this is all the money I have left to my name, $104 #theamericanworkplacebully

In another tweet, Perea declared:

Once the people realize they don’t have to suffer a bully, they will rise up.

But of course, no such thing happened.

Phillip Perea @PhillipPerea73  ·  Jan 23 Once the people realize they don't have to suffer a bully, they will rise up. #theamericanworkplacebully  http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVqAPtyORJk88tBMQzNwDTj00BldZx9V1 …

Phillip Perea @PhillipPerea73 · Jan 23 Once the people realize they don’t have to suffer a bully, they will rise up. #theamericanworkplacebully

Alas, Perea seems to have attracted few sympathizers or allies. His chilling final YouTube video from Jan. 26th also serves as his suicide note.

Perea’s chilling final message.

In Perea’s last video from earlier on Jan. 26, he accuses Fox News of unfairly firing him and destroying his career after what he saw as a bogus investigation that claimed he behaved unprofessionally and made his coworkers “afraid” and “fearful.”

“You can murder a man without killing him. Didn’t I tell you this was going to be a stunner? I tried to hold out for as long as I could, but with no means, no income, and Fox’s obstinate position of not only ignoring workplace bullying but also standing behind their management even when caught in a few lies, well, it just made my decision a whole lot easier.”

Police found a handgun and a suicide note on Perrea’s person.


H/T Talking Points Memo | Featured photo: Screen grab via Phillip Perea’s Twitter feed, with photos from DNA Info/Trevor Kapp and Wikipedia/Rae Whitlock in the background.