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  1. #1
    Buttercup's Avatar
    Buttercup is offline Thrives in sunshine
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    Police Lt. in Deadly Taser Case Commits Suicide

    I heard this on the news this morning.


    By Christine Hauser/New York Times

    A New York City police lieutenant who gave the order to fire a Taser stun gun at a man who then fell to his death in Brooklyn committed suicide at Floyd Bennett Field early on Thursday, law enforcement sources said. The lieutenant, Michael Pigott, a 21-year veteran of the force, had been placed on modified assignment without his gun and badge after he gave the order to a sergeant to fire the Taser at a Bedford-Stuyvesant man, Iman Morales.

    Mr. Morales, naked and with apparent signs of emotionally disturbance, fell to his death from a building ledge after an officer shot him with the Taser, at the instruction of Lieutenant Pigott. Mr. Morales had been yelling at passers-by and swinging a long light bulb tube at officers before he fell.

    The department announced that the use of the Taser appeared to violate departmental rules, and a new commander of the Emergency Service Unit was named. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly also emphasized the need for additional training.

    Asked about the development on Thursday morning, the chief spokesman for the police department, Paul J. Browne, said only: “A New York City police lieutenant was killed this morning apparently as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” he said. “The identification is being withheld pending family notification.”

    Mr. Browne declined to comment further.

    It was not immediately clear where the weapon used for the suicide came from. Lieutenant Pigott was assigned to modified duty, which meant that his service weapon was taken from him, and he was also not assigned to the training that was taking place at Floyd Bennett Field, which Mr. Kelly had ordered after the Taser death last week.




  2. #2
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Very sad. Rest in peace.

  3. #3
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    Very sad.
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  4. #4
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    Just getting ready to post this. Very Sad day for NYPD.
    YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.

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    Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!

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  5. #5
    10-42Adam's Avatar
    10-42Adam is offline Major
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    Terrible. RIP
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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  6. #6
    2 Blue 4 U's Avatar
    2 Blue 4 U is offline Retired NYPD
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    Sorry to hear this, my heart goes out to his family, both home and on the job, and his friends. The torment he must of endured from that incident must of really pushed him over the edge, not to mention being thrown under the bus by the brass. I wish he reached out for help instead of resorting to this. It may have been a bad judgement call on his part but I am sure his intentions were not bad. He had 21 years on the job, how many people he must of helped over those years, shame no one was able to help him or he felt he could not be helped. It is truly tragic. May he Rest in Peace.

  7. #7
    irishmick's Avatar
    irishmick is offline Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2 Blue 4 U View Post
    Sorry to hear this, my heart goes out to his family, both home and on the job, and his friends. The torment he must of endured from that incident must of really pushed him over the edge, not to mention being thrown under the bus by the brass. I wish he reached out for help instead of resorting to this. It may have been a bad judgement call on his part but I am sure his intentions were not bad. He had 21 years on the job, how many people he must of helped over those years, shame no one was able to help him or he felt he could not be helped. It is truly tragic. May he Rest in Peace.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. RIP.
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  8. #8
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    bird1 is offline Corporal
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    R.I.P
    " The hardest thing about disarming an armed suspect is not slipping on your own shit "

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  9. #9
    CTR man's Avatar
    CTR man is offline Officer First Class
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    Here is some more information about this case. Very unfortunate. My condolences.

    http://www.modbee.com/2033/story/450223.html

    http://www.modbee.com/2033/story/450223-p2.html


    NYPD officer kills himself over Taser episode

    By COLLEEN LONG , Associated Press Writer
    last updated: October 02, 2008 05:11:45 PM

    NEW YORK —

    The man was naked, teetering on a building ledge and jabbing at police with an 8-foot-long fluorescent light bulb as a crowd gathered below.

    Lt. Michael Pigott responded by ordering an officer to fire a stun gun at the man, who froze and plunged headfirst to his death in a scene captured on amateur video and replayed frequently on the Internet.

    The officer was remorseful and distraught. He apologized and sought the family's forgiveness. Then he went to his unit's headquarters Thursday morning, his 46th birthday, and fatally shot himself just hours before the family laid the victim to rest.

    "The lieutenant was deeply distraught and extremely remorseful over the death of Iman Morales in Brooklyn last week," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Sadly, his death just compounds the tragedy of the loss of Mr. Morales."

    The suicide marks another tragic turn in a case that has raised questions about the use of Tasers by the nation's largest police force.

    Thousands of police sergeants began carrying Tasers on their belts this year after the NYPD expanded use of the weapons, a trend that has been playing out in police departments across the country in recent years. The pistol-shaped weapons fire barbs up to 35 feet and deliver powerful shocks to immobilize people.

    Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has acknowledged that the weapon is controversial, and some organizations are strongly opposed to police use of Tasers - fearful that the guns can be abused without clear guidelines.

    Police said the use of the stun gun in the death of Morales appeared to violate department guidelines, which explicitly bar their use "in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface."

    Pigott learned firsthand the dangers of Tasers after he was called to a Brooklyn apartment building on the night of Sept. 24.

    Witnesses and neighbors said Morales grew increasingly agitated and threatened to kill himself, leading his mother to call 911. When police arrived, Morales fled naked out the window of his third-floor apartment to the fire escape. He tried to get into an apartment on the floor above, and then climbed down until he reached a ledge over a shuttered storefront, where he started jabbing at officers with the light bulb.

    Pigott had to make a decision about what to do. He ordered Officer Nicholas Marchesona to fire the Taser.

    The 5,000-volt shock immobilized the 35-year-old Morales, who then toppled from his perch. He plunged 10 feet to the ground and died. Officers had radioed for an inflatable bag as the incident unfolded, but it had not yet arrived when Morales fell.

    Authorities believe the fall killed Morales, but an autopsy was inconclusive.

    After the episode, Kelly ordered refresher training for the NYPD's emergency services unit on how to deal with the mentally ill and appointed a new commander of the unit.

    Pigott was stripped of his gun and badge and assigned to a job with the department's motor vehicle fleet - a huge demotion for a 21-year veteran who was assigned to such an elite team. The Brooklyn district attorney's office and the police department investigated. Marchesona also was reassigned to desk duty but was not stripped of his gun and badge.

    Pigott apologized for what happened, telling the Long Island newspaper Newsday that he was "truly sorry."

    Sometime before 6 a.m. Thursday, the lieutenant went to the locker room at his unit's headquarters by himself and found a weapon that was not his. The married father of two sons and a daughter shot himself in the head.

    He apparently left a note in which he expressed devastation over the notion of his wife and kids seeing him as a criminal in handcuffs, according to media reports.

    About four hours after the suicide, the Morales family gathered at a church in Manhattan for their relative's funeral.

    "This is horrible," said Morales' aunt, Ann DeJesus Negron. "I mean, for me personally, I know it's horrible because I would have never wished this on anyone, and we never wanted, of course, this for Iman, and we would never wanted this to happen to the officer at all, or anybody at all."

    The episode also cast the spotlight on the NYPD's emergency services unit, a team of officers who deal with dozens of hostile scenarios every day, such as hostage situations, suicidal suspects, building collapses and hazardous materials threats.

    "These guys are the best of the best, they really are," said Eugene O'Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "When people need help, they call the police, and when police need help, the call the ESU."

    O'Donnell said that even a mistake caught on camera shouldn't take away from what the unit and the officers there do on a daily basis.

    "You have a guy who made a mistake where there's no allegation of malice or ill will," he said. "And what happened after he made a mistake? He was named in the paper, shamed in the paper, suspended, and there was a strong story line that he could be criminal suspect."

    NYPD officers are allowed to use Tasers if they believe emotionally disturbed people are a danger to themselves or to others. The department uses stun guns about 300 times on average. So far this year, stun guns have been used 180 times.

    The department has used Tasers since 1984, but policy previously called for sergeants to store the stun guns in their trunks while patrolling.

    "It is worth remembering that our police officers are not super men, but rather flesh-and-blood human beings who deal with life-and-death situations that most of us cannot even imagine on a daily basis," said Thomas Sullivan of Lieutenants Benevolent Association. "They deserve a kind thought and the benefit of the doubt for all the good that they try to do, especially when things do not work out exactly as we would have hoped for."

    Pigott was a licensed pilot and a motor boat operator. He had worked as a lieutenant in ESU since 2002, and previously served as a lieutenant in a Brooklyn precinct and as a sergeant in precincts that covered Queens neighborhoods.


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  10. #10
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    It sucks that they fed him to the wolves. May he rest in peace.


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  11. #11
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    So Sad. Rest in Peace.
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  12. #12
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Uh, wait a minute here...

    Every time I see this story, I hear about how he was remorseful, and I get that. I am sure he was.

    How many of you have thought about the fact that he might have been saved if instead of taking his badge and gun and stripping him of his purpose in life, they had got him some real help?

    I can't speak for the man, but to me personally, it would be easier to deal with making a mistake than it would be to lose your badge and gun.

    Maybe I'm just overthinking it.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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  13. #13
    keith720's Avatar
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    I feel sorry for the loss to the Department and the loss that the Lt's. family has to endure. It's a shame that there wasn't help available for the Lt., but I have to say, even though I'll get flamed for it, I consider suicide the ultimate in selfish acts. No matter what he did in his life, no matter how many people he may have helped, no matter how good of a husband and father he was, he will always be remembered for this act above any others, and his family will suffer more now than ever. I speak as a person who at one time considered this option when my life was seemingly going down the tubes. I now thank God that I wasn't able to do it. My prayers go out to his family, friends and department.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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  14. #14
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    jcsdscott is offline The short minister
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Uh, wait a minute here...

    Every time I see this story, I hear about how he was remorseful, and I get that. I am sure he was.

    How many of you have thought about the fact that he might have been saved if instead of taking his badge and gun and stripping him of his purpose in life, they had got him some real help?

    I can't speak for the man, but to me personally, it would be easier to deal with making a mistake than it would be to lose your badge and gun.

    Maybe I'm just overthinking it.
    I have to agree. His grief was compounded by the fact he basically was villified by his department for his decision. I understand his remorse and my heart goes out to his family, but I cannot believe that suicide was the only answer. I only wish someone had been there to show him the way out.
    Romans 8:28-31

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  15. #15
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith720 View Post
    I feel sorry for the loss to the Department and the loss that the Lt's. family has to endure. It's a shame that there wasn't help available for the Lt., but I have to say, even though I'll get flamed for it, I consider suicide the ultimate in selfish acts. No matter what he did in his life, no matter how many people he may have helped, no matter how good of a husband and father he was, he will always be remembered for this act above any others, and his family will suffer more now than ever. I speak as a person who at one time considered this option when my life was seemingly going down the tubes. I now thank God that I wasn't able to do it. My prayers go out to his family, friends and department.
    Glad you made it out, but I won't be judging him.

    I'm a suicide intervention specialist, or at least my certificate says so. That certainly does not make me any sort of expert, but I did learn some interesting things...

    One of the things I learned that surprised me is the percentage of people the experts surmise have considered suicide at some point.

    It's referred to as "considering options."

    Most of us turn away from it as a serious consideration, but in the right place and time a person can feel like their option list is limited. *THAT* is where help can be applied.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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  16. #16
    keith720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Glad you made it out, but I won't be judging him.

    I'm a suicide intervention specialist, or at least my certificate says so. That certainly does not make me any sort of expert, but I did learn some interesting things...

    One of the things I learned that surprised me is the percentage of people the experts surmise have considered suicide at some point.

    It's referred to as "considering options."

    Most of us turn away from it as a serious consideration, but in the right place and time a person can feel like their option list is limited. *THAT* is where help can be applied.

    I'm not trying to judge the Lt., as I'm sure that he felt hopeless in his situation. I've known a few Officers that have killed themselves, and the real tragedy is what they left behind. The grief suffered by their families is immeasurable. I think the biggest problem is our reluctance to talk with anyone when we have a problem. We are so used to solving other people's problems, that we are all too often overwhelmed by our own.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

    Winston Churchill

  17. #17
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    Dustoff262 is offline Retirement date: December 29, 2019
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    Wasnt quite a full inspector's funeral, but what was put together was priceless.

    A big thank you to all the surrounding police departments who sent representatives, Suffolk PD and their ESU and motorcycle escort- you guys did a superb job, and of course, our own NYPD extended family. A great representation of the profession.

    I didnt see Ray K there or Chief K. I saw Purtell, Gianelli, Marino and of course Malloy. I saw the DEA union bosses.

    A solemn day for us all. We will never be the same. Our Beloved Lt. Pigott has now post-changed to Eternal Patrol. God Bless his family and grant them peace. Amen.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell

  18. #18
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    Rest in peace Lt.
    Thoughts and prayers to the family.

 

 

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