Shot Through the Foot, But Not to Blame — He Gives Cops a Bad Name

Remember the DEA agent who shot himself in the foot during a drug propaganda presentation at a Florida school? He’s the one who told the class that he was the only one professional enough to handle the Glock .40 he was carrying — right before he accidently shot himself in the foot. In case you missed it, check out the video; it’s funny as hell.

According to The Smoking Gun, the moron is now suing the DEA over the incident:

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.”

I’m sort of confused about this one. If a student shot the video and a local news team picked it up (that’s my recollection of the events, anyway), how could the DEA have been responsible for the DEA agent’s embarrassment. Also, why would a DEA agent assume that he is immune from being the butt of jokes when he makes such a stupid mistake? Why should the taxpayers have to pay some idiot for being an idiot while promoting idiotic public policy to our kids? He’s just like his employer; both deserve to be the target of jokes.

The DEA stripped him of his ability to give propaganda talks at schools. Perhaps the Federal government will strip the DEA of their duties, as well.

46 Comments
  1. Clearly the DEA is getting the creme-de-la-creme of American society supporting their efforts.

  2. From what I can piece together, the student who filmed the shooting (which I guess it can be called) allegedly handed the film over to the DEA, who then allegedly allowed the film to remain public. However, there’s absolutely no way in hell he has a case. His argument boils down to “they shouldn’t be allowed to make fun of me for something I did in public wah wah.” There’s no way any of his rights to privacy were violated simply by the (alleged) release of the film by the DEA.

  3. What we need if fair and balanced drug propaganda presentations in public schools.

    What about having an undercover cop and a street drug dealer give joint presentations to the children. Each could present their side of the story.

    My bet is the pusher will win the hearts and minds of the children. Once they are able, they too can become addicts.

    Let’s take it one step further. We can do the same with tobacco products, alcohol, and whatever other vices are out there. Each minor could choose his/her path.

    Even better, we should have live demonstrations of proper sex techniques and every practice imaginable whether mainstream or really weird. Maybe children from the time they enter grammer school or possibly even kinderdgarden could and should be exposed to everything. Are they not just little people with all the rights and none of the responsibilities of adults?

    I bet Paulie Cannoli will agree with this position.

  4. Julian,

    When I was in high school, I had fantasies of such live demonstrations by one of my bustier teachers. But then again, I’m just a normal guy who thinks with the wrong head.

  5. Julian,

    I don’t think we need all of that, but I do think that the war on drugs is a failure and must be stopped because of all the taxpayer money it wastes.

    The reason why people sell drugs is because it is illegal therefore it is profitable, if drugs were legalized, they would be like any other product in the free market where competition lowers prices which means only businesses would sell. Drugs would be off the streets and would then have an age limit on them.

  6. I thought this was a very amusing story. Just think: If only Dick Cheney had seen this video, he might have learned firearms safety, and averted tragedy.

    I wonder why the audience member gave up the tape? I wonder if it wasn’t confiscated? I wouldn’t have given up the tape. I’d have sent it to “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. Still, I’m glad it made it into the status of “viral video” so we can all enjoy the follies DEA’s finest.

  7. My bet is the pusher will win the hearts and minds of the children. Once they are able, they too can become addicts.

    And then, someday, President. Hey, if GW can do it, any addict can!

    Besides, your premise is flawed: any self-respecting drug pusher knows better than to use his own product.

  8. I love how he wants to move on and show off another “unloaded gun” that’s even bigger. Not surprisingly the kids started cutting up, probably wondering if he was going to show them how to shoot the other foot.

  9. This may sound odd to you, but you don’t have the right to film someone else when they’re not in public and then distribute the result without their consent. Ever notice those reality shows where people who are not “cast members” have their heads digitally obscured? And a classroom full of kids doesn’t count as being in public. Being an idiot or being a DEA agent (to the degree those are different things) does not vitiate this right.

    And notice he’s suing the DEA, not the kid who filmed the incident. There are probably confidentiality/ employer-employee agreements that kick in here–that is, the reasonable expectation that the DEA would, once in possession of the film, make sure it never saw the light of day in order to keep its employees from being shown up as idiots.

  10. Jeffrey: Sorry to disagree with you, but as clearly indicated by speficic laws, if the site you are on is public property, i is a public location.

    This includeds classrooms.

    Furthermore, since more than one person were there, if it were in Texas, it would be public.

  11. Jeffrey Smith: Need it be said that this was film at err… public school? And isn’t he a um… public employee? And isn’t his presentation on the War on Drugs a… let’s see… public issue?

    Face it, this guy is an asshat and no amount of suing is going to make him less of one.

  12. One question:

    Did the DEA count this incident as a “drug-related” shooting?

    Hey, anything to pad their expense accounts…

    Carlos Mencia should do a “dee deedee” segment on this guy.

  13. Last time I checked, the DEA was a public governmental organization — and they get no film privacy rights while on my freaking clock.

  14. SVD:

    I would have been laughing my ass off snorting milk out my nose had I been in that classroom. I might have passed out from laughter had he shot his other foot, too.

  15. There is no drug war, there is a suppression effort. Just like there is an effort to kep hookers out of view, molesters paranoid, and gang members in custody.

  16. Ian, just one technical point. The Texas penal code allows as a public place as a place that the public can generally access. Texas schools have security doors. If I want to pick Riss up early, I have to ring a buzzer on a door and announce that I am a parent. They will then buzz me in. I guess TX public schools are technically publicly funded, private property.

  17. There is no copyright protection for the work of a US government employee. There is also no need to obtain a release from a public figure in order to dissemenate film of them in public. I would assume someone who gives motivational speeches and works for the US government as a spokesperson is a public figure.

  18. sorry about the double as a– was also discussing whether we should see Barry Manilow in Vegas this weekend. As I am yapping with you, I said, “Sure Honey. That sounds great!” So I f’d up twice- once in the last post and once deciding a night out in LV. Where is my Ritalin?

  19. “Tommy, take your Ritalin… the D.A.R.E. officer will be here soon to lecture us about the evils of drug u- TOMMY! Come down from there and take your medication! Don’t you want to learn how evil marijuana is??”

    It’s all for the chil’ren.

  20. The DEA is scum. I look forward to challenging their “authority” in the Free State.

    Imagine NH passing a law that mandates that all federal agents stay out of NH, and that they’ll be arrested if they are found within the borders. I’d voluntarily contribute to that program.

    Imagine a pot bar with armed guards and employees so the DEA knows a raid in NH won’t be like taking candy from babies like it is in CA.

    This is only a taste of the fun we could have.

    http://freetalklive.com

  21. Blah, blah, blah…I bet Paulie Cannoli will agree with this position.

    Doubtful, but I bet he would agree with you finally explaining exactly what separates you from the neo-con Republicans, as he’s asked you several dozen times.

  22. jeffrey smith: no, you don’t have the right to film someone… without their consent! But I assume since a student was filming, that the DEA officer said “okay” to being filmed. Thus, even if a public school classroom full of people doesn’t completely destroy the expectation of privacy (which it does by any reasonable standard), then the presence of a video camera does.

  23. I once heard a talking-head type in the early 1990’s saying that because private industry was able to pay better than the US Gub’mint, the only kind of personnel the USG would wind up with were ‘the best of the rest’.

    Although I would normally be leery of making such a blanket statement, in the case of that rube, I’d say it was justified. Just imagine what would have happened if the muzzle had been angled further up when he pulled the trigger; most schoolrooms I’ve ever been in had cinderblock walls, making ricochet a high probability. A lot more than just this fool would have been hurt…or killed. I wouldn’t trust this guy with a spoon, much less a firearm…and I sure as Hell wouldn’t want to continue paying for his salary.

  24. kaptinemo called this guy a “rube.” Nice!

    I knew 20’s slang would make a comeback eventually. The DEA is not shibby. But Liberty, that’s just the gnat’s whistle!

  25. I think the DEA had a duty to keep the tape to themselves until, if ever, it was needed in a court case or returned to its owner. They confiscated it in the classroom and allowed it to circulate on the Internet!

    Obviously, somebody inside the DEA thought it was a big joke, too. He probably underestimated the viral nature of the tape.

    The student who shot it is the one with a right to sell or publish it.

    Try to imagine one of the most embarrassing moments of your life (we all have them), circulating on the Internet out of context. The context in this case being we don’t even know whether the officer is a potential libertarian or a 2nd Amendment ally. Name-calling, derision and piling on the guy when he’s down isn’t helpful. He’s an individual, not the DEA.

    As for the lawsuit, that’s going to be a tough call. I’d be mad if my employer exposed me to public ridicule. Nobody wants to become a public figure this way. If he lives it down, you’ll have to respect that.

  26. Some relevant portions of the filing:

    “Seconds after Mr. Paige warned the children that HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON THAT HE KNEW OF IN THE ROOM PROFESSIONAL ENOUGH TO CARRY THAT FIREARM, the firearm accidently discharged, wounding Mr. Paige.

    At the time of the aforesaid accidental discharge, Mr. Paige’s presentation was being videotaped. Shortly after the accidental discharge, the videotape, which was the only video and audio recording of the accidental discharge, was turned over to the DEA. Later, the videotape was returned to the person who made the videotape, BUT THE VIDEO AND AUDIO PORTIONS OF THE ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THE VIDEOTAPE BY THE DEA.”

  27. Paige is claiming damages because he can no longer act as an undercover agent because of this, because he now apparently has the reputation of a Barney Fife-esque bumbling cop. Question: Is it common for undercover agents to give public demonstrations of this sort, wouldn’t that compromise your undercover status? As I understand, his undercover work was known to the class, so he must tell people about it during his presentations.

    I also think people are also focusing on the “funny” aspects of this incident, without realizing that there was in fact a guy waving a loaded weapon around a group of kids. He didn’t check it before going to class, he didn’t keep his finger off the trigger, he didn’t point it in a safe direction.

    Another funny thing: This presentation was part of a class called “The Game of Life, the Game of Golf”. I wish my golf classes had such entertaining guests.

  28. WTF is he doing playing with a loaded gun like that in front of a class full of kids anyway? The only loaded side arms in schools should be in the holsters of police officers… with the safeties on, only to be taken out in the most dire and necessary of circumstances.

    At least he was smart enough not to point it AT the kids. If he really did hit his own foot (directly not just some shrapnel) then I have to admit he took it like a man.

  29. Did anyone notice that this case is being filed “pro se”?

    It’s been said that the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. In this case, we actually have video evidence to back that up!

  30. Large scary intimidating federal agent waving loaded gun around in a classroom full of children…Large federal agent accidently discharging firearm in classroom full of children…

  31. Large scary intimidating federal agent waving loaded gun around in a classroom full of children… Large federal agent accidently discharging firearm in classroom full of children…Reasons number 3895 and 3896 that we homeschooled our daughter.

  32. In the stupid moron’s defense the weapon he shot himself with, a Glock .40, has no external safety. Instead, it is what is known as Double Action Only, DOA, trigger system, requiring a heavy trigger pull on the first shot; thus, in theory, making the first shot intentional. However, this moron should never have shown his weapon to anyone while it was loaded and chambered. That, as he clearly demonstrated, is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. How anyone ever let him carry an weapon of any kind is a mystery to me. And the fact that he goes on, after he shot himself, to show the audience what appears to be an AR-15 carbine indicates that he was only trying to impress the kids, not teach them anything about staying away from drugs and weapons. What an immature ass this guy is.

  33. A correction to my above comment. He didn’t have his weapon loaded, but he still had a round chambered that he must not have realized was still in the chamber. One of the fundamental gun safety rules is that even after you remove the magazine, you always check the chamber to see that it is clear.

  34. Brian, I’m sorry…I guess there is some sort of semantic thing going on here:
    You said: “He didn’t have his weapon loaded, but he still had a round chambered that he must not have realized was still in the chamber.”
    So… a round “Chambered” doesn’t mean a round “loaded”? In that case he must be the only idiot in history to shoot himself in the foot with an unloaded gun.