Law Enforcement: Agent Who Shot Himself in Foot Sues DEA for Making Him Look Silly 4/14/06

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A Drug Enforcement Agency agent whose videotaped, self-inflicted gunshot wound before a class full of school children has become the stuff of Internet legend is suing the agency for releasing the tape. Agent Lee Paige, 45, who shot himself in the foot while demonstrating weapons safety for the Florida children, claims his career has been ruined and he has become a laughingstock.

The shooting occurred only moments after Paige, a 15-year veteran, told the students he was the only one in the room professional enough to handle a gun. He filed suit April 7, charging that the videotape showing the shooting, which was filmed by an audience member, was turned over to the DEA. The drug agency subsequently "improperly, illegally, willfully and/or intentionally" allowed the tape to be disseminated, Paige charged.

He has suffered as a result, the lawsuit said. He has been the "target of jokes, derision, ridicule, and disparaging comments" from bypassers in public places and he is no longer "permitted or able to give educational motivational speeches and presentations." Nor can he work undercover any longer because of the tape's wide distribution, he complained.

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Issue #431 -- 4/14/06

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