Sunday, May 17, 2009
Seeks damages for distribution of humiliating gun accident video
APRIL 11--A Drug Enforcement Administration agent who stars in a popular online video that shows him shooting himself in the foot during a weapons demonstration for Florida children is suing over the tape's release, claiming that his career has been crippled and he's become a laughingstock due to the embarrassing clip's distribution. Lee Paige, 45, blames the video's release on DEA officials in an April 7 federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. government. According to the lawsuit, Paige was making a "drug education presentation" in April 2004 to a Florida youth group when his firearm (a Glock .40) accidentally discharged. The shooting occurred moments after Paige told the children that he was the only person in the room professional enough to carry the weapon. The accident was filmed by an audience member, and the tape, Paige claims, was turned over to the DEA. The drug agency subsequently "improperly, illegally, willfully and/or intentionally" allowed the tape to be disseminated. As a result, Paige--pictured above in a still from the video--has been the "target of jokes, derision, ridicule, and disparaging comments" directed at him in restaurants, grocery stores, and airports. Paige, who writes that he was "once regarded as one of the best undercover agents, if not the best, in the DEA," points to the clip's recent airing on popular television shows and via the Internet as the reason he can no longer work undercover. He also notes that he is no longer "permitted or able to give educational motivational speeches and presentations."
Click on title above to see the amazing video and also at the bottom of the page a copy of the 5 page complaint. Notice towards the end of the vid,...just after shooting himself in the foot, the DEA officer attempts to down-play the event and incredibily, goes on to continue with his safety lecture, and even has another gun (a rifle) bought into the room to display to them, but the children are crying, scared and upset and not interested in seeing anymore guns. One even screams to the holder of the weapon to "put the gun down!" which they did, promptly. It was then and only then after the little girl screamed out, that the adults began milling about, slow & confused but at last now taking action in moving towards escourting the wounded officer out of the building and (presumably)to a hospital.) Amazing. The children seem to have more on the ball than the agent or, for that matter, any of the other adults in the room that just stood there, jaws agape and said or did nothing as this idiot went on and on......
I do think not allowing him to give any more gun-safety lessons at schools is a little harsh. Other than being an idiot, he does a pretty good job of it, and, other than that "little incident," he seems to enjoy that kind of work. Just take away his guns and he'll do fine. Afterall, he is now, like it or not, the new official "American Idiot " poster-boy for gun safety, a la DEA.