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Author Topic: DEA Agent who shot himself in the leg suing the DEA
Joe Bentley
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An odd update to the story of the DEA agent who shot himself in leg in front of a room full of children.

Agent who shot himself in the foot sues DEA

quote:
(4/17/06 - ORLANDO, FL) - A DEA agent who accidentally shot himself in the foot while demonstrating gun safety to school children is suing the agency, saying video of the incident has made him the joke of the Internet.

Lee Paige was making a presentation to children at the Orlando Youth Minority Golf Association on April 9, 2004, when he shot himself. Moments before the shooting, the 14-year agency veteran was displaying his firearm and telling students he was the only one in the room professional enough to handle a gun.

He was suspended for five days without pay after the accident, and the video was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The lawsuit filed April 7 in federal court in Washington alleges the agency leaked the video to the public.



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JetEd73
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For some reason, have a hard time feeling sorry for this guy.

I realize that accidents happen, but this guy had a real brain fart.

Accidental discharge is just sloppy gun handling.

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Singing in the Drizzle
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The first question. Why was he demostrating gun safty with a loaded gun in front of school children or anyone for that matter? I think he deserves to shoot him self in the foot.
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Zabia
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quote:
Moments before the shooting, (SNIP) telling students he was the only one in the room professional enough to handle a gun.
[lol] [lol] [lol]

Talk about tempting the Fates.

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sherri_lu
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The guy is a loser in his bio it says he played for Tampa Bay Bucs, but he was only a replacement player during the 87 strike for two or three games.
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by sherri_lu:
The guy is a loser in his bio it says he played for Tampa Bay Bucs, but he was only a replacement player during the 87 strike for two or three games.

I don't get it. He played for the Bucs, right? So what is the problem?

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sherri_lu
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by sherri_lu:
The guy is a loser in his bio it says he played for Tampa Bay Bucs, but he was only a replacement player during the 87 strike for two or three games.

I don't get it. He played for the Bucs, right? So what is the problem?
Crossing a picket line and donning a uniform to play in a couple of games nobody took seriously hardly makes you an NFL veteran & to put it in your bio is a bit silly.
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Sure it might be silly, but it does make him someone who played for the Bucs.

Right?

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Esprise Me
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This is just too delicious. People often say "literally" when they mean "figuratively, but really, really______." How often can you correctly assert that someone *literally* shot himself in the foot? If I got hold of that video, I wouldn't be able to resist distributing it.

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Roadie
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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
This is just too delicious. People often say "literally" when they mean "figuratively, but really, really______." How often can you correctly assert that someone *literally* shot himself in the foot? If I got hold of that video, I wouldn't be able to resist distributing it.

Send it to your loved ones! [Wink]

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happyholidaysfrog
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I don't feel sorry for him in the least, he said "this is an unloaded weapon" or something to that effect, then pulled the trigger (making ir click). He OBVIOUSLY had not followed basic gun safety (of visually ensuring that the weapon was unloaded).

I thought the video was a riot.

He has only himself to blame for being a laughingstock.

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Ganzfeld
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I don't know if he has a case about the release of the video but he should feel lucky he only shot his leg and not someone else. (And I can't help adding) It's not as if he's the vice president or anything.
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abigsmurf
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He definately has a case, regardless of the fact he shot himself, he is an undercover agent, he should not have been filmed and probably shouldn't have been allowed to do the demonstration in the first place.

Even if he hadn't shot himself this video would have still have been filmed (although probably not put on the internet). The fact the filming was allowed to take place then they allowed the goof to propogate without making efforts to stop it has put his and his families lives at risk and has made it impossible to do his job.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
He definately has a case, regardless of the fact he shot himself, he is an undercover agent, he should not have been filmed and probably shouldn't have been allowed to do the demonstration in the first place.

Even if he hadn't shot himself this video would have still have been filmed (although probably not put on the internet). The fact the filming was allowed to take place then they allowed the goof to propogate without making efforts to stop it has put his and his families lives at risk and has made it impossible to do his job.

A good point, but intrestingly, it's not the one he's making, at least according to the OP article. He's objecting to his becoming a joke -- not a word about his safety or career being in jeopardy. Surely if he really believed he and his family were at risk, he'd place a higher priority on that than on his being ridiculed? Perhaps the article is written misleadingly.

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abigsmurf
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That's only a side point taken from the case detailing (is that the right term?), the main grounds is that the video was leaked/made in the first place.
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jimmy101
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
He definately has a case, regardless of the fact he shot himself, he is an undercover agent, he should not have been filmed and probably shouldn't have been allowed to do the demonstration in the first place.

Even if he hadn't shot himself this video would have still have been filmed (although probably not put on the internet). The fact the filming was allowed to take place then they allowed the goof to propogate without making efforts to stop it has put his and his families lives at risk and has made it impossible to do his job.

BS. He was working in an official capacity, identified as a DEA agent, in a public forum. Even if he did not have the approval of his superiors, he made the decision to perform in public. Therefore, by definition, he was not undercover. Face it, if you walk into a public forum and say "Hi, I'm a DEA agent" then you are not undercover.

Anything a person does in public is, well, in public. Nothing wrong with recording and distributing the video.

Face it, the guy screwed up big time. Fortunately, he didn't shoot a kid. He should never be allowed to carry a firearm again. Period.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
That's only a side point taken from the case detailing (is that the right term?), the main grounds is that the video was leaked/made in the first place.

Again, there's nothing in the OP article to indicate that. If you're basing your conclusion on other sources, can you share them?

And if his objection was to being videotaped in the first place, why didn't he say something at the time? Was the videotaping done surreptitiously?

Besides, jimmy101's right. The plaintiff publicly identified himself as a DEA agent during the demonstration.

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Malruhn
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The video we have all giggled at was, according to the suit, suboena'd (or however it's spelled) and part of the SEALED investigation. Somehow (magically?), it ended up on the internet and we have all laughed our collective asses at it.

THIS is what the suit is for... for being illegally leaked to the public.

However, I have to agree that he should have been fired for being stupid and having a loaded weapon in a TRAINING class with school kids!!

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jimmy101
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
The video we have all giggled at was, according to the suit, suboena'd (or however it's spelled) and part of the SEALED investigation. Somehow (magically?), it ended up on the internet and we have all laughed our collective asses at it.

THIS is what the suit is for... for being illegally leaked to the public.

How can the release of video of a public event that is not an undercover operation be "illegally leaked" to the public. How would a non-covert public event be a security issue?

Release of a confidential investigatory material may be illegal, but you can't "leak" what is already in the public domain.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
The video we have all giggled at was, according to the suit, suboena'd (or however it's spelled) and part of the SEALED investigation.

Where are you getting that? The story says the incident was taped -- doesn't say by whom -- and that tape was turned over to the DEA. It says nothing about a subpoena nor being sealed.

The agent is claiming it was "leaked" to the media, but nowhere does it say it was not a public record to beging with.

quote:
THIS is what the suit is for... for being illegally leaked to the public.
That may be what the agent is claiming, but it certainly hasn't been proven yet.

Pogue

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Lainie
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Malruhn, I'll say to you what I said to abigsmurf: If you are basing your comments on a source other than the OP article, please share that source with the rest of us.

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Communication Attempt
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Ironically the man did show the kids what you should not do while holding a gun.I agree with the general opinion that he's a doofus for bringing a loaded firearm in a classroom and that he shot himself right after declaring he's the only one professionnal enough to handle a gun is just the icing on the cake.

Just like the Star Wars kid he did something that's too funny and he'll be a living joke for the rest of his life.

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by Communication Attempt:
I agree with the general opinion that he's a doofus for bringing a loaded firearm in a classroom and that he shot himself right after declaring he's the only one professionnal enough to handle a gun is just the icing on the cake.

I wouldn't think he was a doofus if he'd left the damn thing in it's holster.

I think he's a doofus for managing to break all three of the rule of safe firearm handling during a lecture on gun safety. Let's review:

1. Always assume it's loaded. If he'd assumed that he wouldn't have played with it.

2. Don't point it at anything that you don't want to put a bullet through. Like your leg.

3. Your finger is off the trigger and the safety is to be kept on unless you are planning to fire the gun. Especially if you are assuming that it is loaded and you're pointing it at your leg! [Eek!]

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Mr. Baggins
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Two points:

1. You gotta admire the man's coolness. I don't know how bad the wound was (I assume not much) but I can't see myself carrying on with the lecture.

2. What really makes tha video funny to me is not his shooting himself... It's around 3/4 into the clip, when he asks for an assault rifle. The audience reaction is priceless [Big Grin]

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Dark Blue
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quote:
I think he's a doofus for managing to break all three of the rule of safe firearm handling during a lecture on gun safety. Let's review:

As an aspiring weapons instructor I have to say that EVERY weapons class and instructor I know, which is a lot, teach the FOUR cardnal rules of gun safety. Those being the 3 you mentioned and the 4th being: Know your target and what is beyond it.

That aside he made an extremely horrific blunder and one that serves well being seen by the public in my opinion as an example of someone with poor weapons handling. INdeed in my opinion a gun should never be loaded or unlaoded in a class room setting, and if making some sort of point with a PREVIOUSLY unloaded weapon he should hand the cleared weapon to another person (one of hte other agents in the class) to verify that it was clear as well. If he was concerned about the nature of his identiy he should not have been in a public place idenitfied as a DEA agent and acting in such capacity, and been aware of the fact that people had cameras at this event. THe release of this video of his stupidity is not what has compromised his undercover capacity. Him being there has. It is my opinon that he is upset at being made a dunce of world wide fame, but it is also my opinion that the video serves a greater good as an example of poor weapons handling and its censorship would be a shame.
DB

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
quote:
I think he's a doofus for managing to break all three of the rule of safe firearm handling during a lecture on gun safety. Let's review:

As an aspiring weapons instructor I have to say that EVERY weapons class and instructor I know, which is a lot, teach the FOUR cardnal rules of gun safety. Those being the 3 you mentioned and the 4th being: Know your target and what is beyond it.

True, I am familliar with that rule, but usually consider it part of rule 2. My phrasing is an oversimplification of the rules.

I can actually further simplify all three rules into four words" "Don't play with guns." [Razz]

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by JetEd73:
Accidental discharge is just sloppy gun handling.

That's what I used to tell my girlfriend, but she still dumped me.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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abigsmurf
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quote:
The lawsuit filed April 7 in federal court in Washington alleges the agency leaked the video to the public.
That's the quote.

it was (alledgedly) illegally leaked. The DEA is responsible for the wellbeing of their agents hence they cannot release anything that could reveal their identify and put them at risk. Perhaps the people saying to quote sources should read the article?

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geminilee
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Are people reading a different article than I am? It says nothing about him being undercover, or ever having been undercover. He willing identified himself as a DEA agent. Also, he is not complaining that he is unsafe now, only that people are (rightly) laughing at him. Too bad, you don't want people ridicule you, don't be ridiculous.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
quote:
The lawsuit filed April 7 in federal court in Washington alleges the agency leaked the video to the public.
That's the quote.

it was (alledgedly) illegally leaked. The DEA is responsible for the wellbeing of their agents hence they cannot release anything that could reveal their identify and put them at risk. Perhaps the people saying to quote sources should read the article?

I have read the article repeatedly.

It says nothing about his being undercover.

The only motive it provides for his lawsuit is that he is being ridiculed.

If, in my repeated readings of the article, I have in fact missed documentation that he ever was an undercover agent, or that blowing such cover is the motivation for his lawsuit, please quote the bits you think I'm missing.

He did something stupid in public. When you do something stupid in public, people laugh at you.

ETA: Since he apparently wasn't an undercover agent (or he wouldn't have been part of a public gun safety demonstration), perhaps someone in the DEA leaked the tape because it makes a good point about gun safety? Or because the DEA agent in question is an asshat?

Further ETA: There is also no indication in the article that the leaking of the videotape were illegal. That would be a criminal matter, no a matter for a civil lawsuit.

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Banquo's Ghost
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The Smoking Gun (I apologize - I'm too much a technological cretin to link to the site)has a copy of the pro se complaint in the archives. (Pro se, in case anyone is unfamiliar with legal jargon, means he filed it himself - no lawyer. Apparently he either did not want a lawyer or could not get one.) In the complaint Paige claims to have been one of the DEA best undercover agants, if not the best. He was demonstrating gun safety to a Florida youth minority golf association, I assume as part of a DEA program on drug awareness and/or gun safety (the complaint does not say why he was there).

He is claiming the release of the video, taken by someone (also unidentified in the complaint) is in violation of 5 USC 522a. I gave a quick look at that section - the annotated version is 739 pages long and I did not really feel like wading through all 739 pages to see exactly where under the statute he thought his rights existed. The section regards public access to governmental information, so it is at least possible that a right of action exists in that section although I did not see anything that immediately jumped out at me. 522a did not appear to be have any criminal sanctions in it, only dealt with citizen's rights to government information and civil remedies for non-complaince.

Paige states he was (past tense) an undercover agent for the DEA but it is unclear if that means this video caused him to longer be undercover or if he was transferred out of undercover prior to his being a lecturer. (I got the impression that the two were unrelated. That could just be poor drafting of the complaint.) He does say that as a result of the tape he cannot go back to undercover work and is no longer allowed to give lectures (no real big surprise there - whether the tape was released dor not, I have a hard time seeing how the DEA would have him giving safety lectures to kids.)

Paige also claims the video was turned over to the DEA "shortly" after it was taken - I have no idea how shortly or if there was any time for the videographer to have made a copy - and that the DEA returned to the tape to the owner with the accidental discharge portion of the tape erased - apparently supporting his claim that it was the DEA who released the embarrassing tape.

As Pogue Mahone so rightly points out, there is still a great difference between what is alleged in a complaint and proving those allegations.

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Wintermute
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
I have read the article repeatedly.

It says nothing about his being undercover.


From the article
quote:
Paige, a former player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he can't work undercover anymore because of the tape.

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geminilee
The First USA Noel


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You are right, I did miss that line. But, if he were so concerned about his ability to work undercover, why would he identify himself as a DEA agent, in a forum that was being taped? He has never suggested he was unaware that the tape was being made. I say he is just mad because people are laughing at him, and people are only laughing at him because of his own stupidity.

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Posts: 660 | From: Gainesville, FL | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'm with Geminilee. I missed that line, too, but I don't think undercover agents give gun safety lectures in which they publicly identify themselves as DEA. How would they know that somebody in the room would never be involved in any of their investigations?

quote:
Originally posted by Banquo's Ghost:
He does say that as a result of the tape he cannot go back to undercover work and is no longer allowed to give lectures (no real big surprise there - whether the tape was released dor not, I have a hard time seeing how the DEA would have him giving safety lectures to kids.)

Me, too. It seems likely the reason he's no longer allowed to give lectures is that while doing so he handled an armed weapon unsafely in a room full of people.

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Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Now, the only thing i can say in his defense is the Glock does have an safety issue in their design. He said he was trying to take the weapon apart when he had is accidental discharge. When you take a glock apart you must pull the trigger to take it apart. So, still stupid on his part, but I at least understand why he pulled the trigger. He should have used a glock training pistol for his demonstration.
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