Drug War

This May Be the Only Time I've Rooted for the DEA


Lee Paige made my 2011 list of "highlights in shifting responsibility," even though the most recent development in his case had occurred at the very end of 2010, because it is hard to imagine a more brazen attempt to deflect blame: The former DEA agent literally shot himself in the foot while lecturing a group of children about gun safety at an Orlando community center in 2004 (immediately after declaring, "I'm the only one in this room professional enough…to carry this Glock 40"), then sued DEA officials for making him "a laughing stock around the world" by releasing a widely viewed video of the incident. It was never clear how the video, which was taken by a parent attending Paige's talk, ended up online. In any event, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday, the video did not reveal any private facts; to the contrary, it showed a public event that was a matter of public concern. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a federal judge's 2010 dismissal of Paige's lawsuit, concluding that he had not presented evidence of the Privacy Act violations he alleged in his complaint. 

The D.C. Circuit's ruling is here (PDF).

[via Point of Law]


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  1. That video, all by itself, justifies the existence of the Internet.

    1. This and mycatisadick.com

    2. the best part is where the whole lecture shifts from ‘don’t do drugs’ to ‘don’t play with guns’. “Accidents happen.”

      1. negligent discharges happen. this was no accident

        1. Damn Dunphy, you are smarter than your average cop.

  2. SOPA would allow the DEA to shut down youtube.

  3. Yeah, I’m just making crap up, but so does the recording industry and Hollywood, so it’s all even.

  4. So despite the fact that the DEA had nothing to do with filming, posting, or mocking this video, Paige sued them because they…have deep pockets?

    Jesus, he is the dictionary.com definition of idiocy.

    1. More importantly, how the fuck do you shoot yourself in the foot with a gun you’ve just SPECIFICALLY checked for rounds? How fucking retarded do you have to be?

      1. Looks to me like he checked to see the gun was unloaded. Then he kept on talking (obviously sucks at multitasking) while hitting the slide release. This caused a round to be chambered and he kept on talking and apparently didn’t realize he had a loaded gun in his hand.

        1. I wonder if these guys learn guns from ‘Commando’?

  5. It was never clear how the video, which was taken by a parent attending Paige’s talk, ended up online.

    1. connect USB cable between device and computer
    2. browse to youtube upload page
    3. select file from device, drag into the upload box

    (ignoring fancypants iPhones that can just email the video to a site)

    Oh, or was the question actually: “It’s not clear how the parent who took that video managed to leave the room with the video and their liberty intact?”

    1. Paige was too busy being professional with his head up his ass to notice the peasant leaving with the camera-equipped phone

      1. . . . and it’s not like he’d have given chase 🙂

        1. The ADA complaint will be sure to follow.

      2. Pretty sure you’ve forgotten what kind of phone you had in 2004. Hint: it was probably monochrome.

        1. Wow…That long ago? It was the best of times…

        2. Wow…That long ago? It was the best of times…

  6. Shitheads like Paige are a perfect example of the LEO mindset–however completely mistaken–that they are particularly specially gifted/knowledgeable about guns, far over the general public. And how they excuse completely unforgivable lapses in basic gun safety that a non-LEO would get arrested for. Especially around children.

    1. I had a commanding officer discharge his pistol during a change-of-cmmmand ceremony. Lucky for him, he was on the way out anyway.

      1. I fI double ckick onj the submit button I think it posts twice.

    2. We had a couple city cops showing off a hideout piece in the station. They ended up shooting through a wall. No charges were filed. On a later date, the chief of police went on a SWAT raid and was seen trying to bust out the window of a motel room with the butt of his Glock. A shame it didn’t go off.

      1. “On a later date, the chief of police went on a SWAT raid and was seen trying to bust out the window of a motel room with the butt of his Glock. A shame it didn’t go off.”

        It amazes me how some people think that all tools should be multipurpose. Sometimes, a hammer is just a hammer.

        1. so, using the barrel of a pistol as a doughnut rack is right out then?

          *dissapointed Wiggum sigh*

        2. Naahhh…it’s just that Chiefy watched a few too many action flicks and thought they were true-to-life.

          1. Bingo! It was a cluster all around. They had report of a robbery suspect staying in the motel room. So instead of having 4-5 plainclothes guys hangout at the motel, they decided to go full out Rambo. Busted the window out and tossed in 2 CS grenades and a flash bang.

    3. Well said Epi,
      If you or I were to even walk into a school with a licensed concealed weapon, we’d be thrown in jail and have our permit revoked. This jackass brandishes a loaded weapon with a bullet in the chamber and shoot himself in the foot and as far as I can tell absolutely nothing happened to him (aside from becoming the biggest laughing stock in law enforcement).

      1. If you or I were to even walk into a school with a licensed concealed weapon, we’d be thrown in jail and have our permit revoked.

        Only if you were dumb enough to tell someone, like those jackasses in NYC.

        as I can tell absolutely nothing happened to him

        Of course not. He is a member of The State. If he were not then his actions would be a crime against The State. Since he is a member of The State his actions are not a crime, since The State cannot commit crimes against itself.

      2. In Utah, schools are specifically obligated by law to allow permit-holders onto their premises. And that’s the only exception anywhere.

        1. Armed, of course, I mean.

          1. lots of states allow people with CCW and/or open carry on college campuses, mine included

            my state allows people on elemetnary, high school etc. campuses with concealed guns, as long as they stay in their car. this is so people (parents, etc.) picking up their kids at school aren’t breaking the law when they do so while carrying a firearm. however, they must stay in the car

            of course “gun free school zones” are anything but, and people should be allowed to carry on all school campuses.

            1. Sounds like a great place to live, but much do you like snow? 😉

    4. ah yes, the “if a civilian did this, he would have gotten arrested” canard.

      i doubt that is true, although there is no way to tell, since in most jurisdictions, everybody BUT LEO’s are forbidden to carry on college campuses

      you are of course wrong. he is the perfect example of a FED’s mindset.

      local cops tend to realize that many feds are prima donnas with no street smarts

      i don’t know any LEO who think they are “particularly gifted” because they are an LEO.

      our range is right next to a general use range, and it’s EASY to say that a metric assload of noncop shooters are fucking phenomenal with their weapons.

      many of us also teach both cops and noncops in use of firearms, so we hold no such notions

      but of course YOU know all about the LEO mindset because you have the media to tell you what it allegedly is

      1. Dunphy, you seriously believe that “civilian” who fired a gun in a classroom full of children wouldn’t have been arrested?

        Because I don’t. Not for one second.

        1. Assuming that the civilian had permission to bring guns and ammo into a classroom and give a presentation on gun safety, I don’t believe he’d be arrested for shooting himself.

        2. I dated a girl who dated a Detroit police officer before me. They were at a bar, he got pretty blotto and thought it would be funny to pull out his gun and point it directly at her head as a “joke”.

          She didn’t take this too well, broke off the relationship shortly thereafter, and complained to the police department, who rapped his wrist and told him that he was a naughty boy and not to do it again or he’d be sent to his room without dessert. Obviously this is the exact same thing that would happen to a non-police officer in a similar situation.

          She was absolutely terrified that he might retaliate so she moved out of state for a few years for her own safety, which is how we met.

        3. It doesn’t even have to be a classroom full of children. Just fire a weapon in the city limits most places and you will get a night or two on the taxpayers.

      2. i don’t know any LEO who think they are “particularly gifted” because they are an LEO.

        1. All cops seem to think they are gifted drivers. Monday I saw an unmarked MD state police car. I remember it well because it was doing the speed limit and not 20+ mph over the limit. If cops are so willing to break the law when everybody is watching, what are they doing when nobody is around.
        2. This proves you have never been to Howard County, MD

  7. it seems if you’re going to make a headline using the personal pronoun, the article should have a byline. Otherwise, shouldn’t it be “We’ve…”.

    1. My sleuthing has revealed that it’s Sullum.

  8. I don’t see this as an instance of rooting for the DEA. More like an example of rooting for common sense.

  9. I had never heard of or seen this. My day is complete. I can die happy knowing about Plaxico Burress’ cousin here.

    1. Dude, I swear that’s been on the internet for at least 5 years. I wonder how many libertarians that video has made.

      It is one of the best things on the internet.

      1. I shit you not — I literally almost pissed myself laughing when I saw it the first time. And then I called over everybody in who was at the house, and even the most unlibertarian person in my family, my cousin, looked like he’d seen Jesus in his mirror.

        It’s certainly one of the most enlightening things on the Internet — that’s for sure.

  10. Just before you all laugh too hard, the article does NOT say “former” DEA agent.

    1. surely even a Federally-Retarded Employer is not going to consider kindly the continuing-employment prospects of an employing who’s suing them…

      1. I’m pretty sure they can’t fire him for suing them. If they do, he gets to sue them again and this time he’ll win.

        1. yea, i know that’s the case at my state level. i would bet there is some sort of legislation, if not case law, that would protect him from firing for bringing a lawsuit against the govt.

          1. He’s a former pro football player, probably has an IQ of about 80. Why the fuck did they hire him in the first place?

  11. You’re supposed to shoot the other guy in the fuckin’ foot!

  12. I’ve got mixed feelings on Glocks – and I’m always a little surprised that police departments or government agencies issue them.

    Standard Glocks only have one safety, a trigger safety – so the gun will never fire if the trigger isn’t pulled. But… if you pull the trigger by accident – like Plaxico or this dummy – bang!

    1. Yeah, I can’t imagine how a weapon that’s always subject to “accidental discharge” caused by insufficient “training” would be appealing to a police department.

      1. With extremely rare exceptions (e.g. a gun that is not working properly) there are no accidental discharges–only intentional or negligent ones.

        1. With a weapon that’s subject to “negligent discharges”, it’s hard to imagine why such a weapon would be appealing to a police department.

          1. you must be sarcastic here.

            all weapons are subject to that. the exception is replicas. iow, guns that can’t fire

            1. No sarcasm at all. Yes, all weapons are subject to accidental discharge, but if the population whose hands you’re putting these weapons in are monumentally difficult to train across the board, it’s possible there may be a better choice.

              “You can’t blame the Glock for accidental discharges,” said former police chief Isaac Fulwood Jr., who took over the force a few months after the District switched to Glocks. “The gun doesn’t accidentally shoot. The officer has got to pull the trigger.”

              But officers found it difficult in tense street situations to keep their fingers off the triggers of their Glocks.

              “When they feel in danger or they feel that somebody is in danger and they’re really going to use that weapon, they’ll put their finger on the trigger,” Detective Ron Robertson, former head of the D.C. police union, said in a deposition in July. “It’s kind of hard to keep the finger out of there.”


              1. There are only 4 rules. You have break at least 2 to accidentally shoot yourself or anyone else.


              2. There are only 4 Rules! You have to break at least 2 of them to accidentally shoot yourself or anyone else.


                1. There are only 4 Rules! You have to break at least 2 of them to accidentally shoot yourself or anyone else.

                  I’m connecting the words “rules” and “cops” and forming a sentence in my mind. I get extra points if I can fit in “proper procedure”.

                  Mmmhmm, I think I found the problem. Yeah, and here’s my favorite:

                  In October 1990, Officer Edward Wise fired accidentally and grazed a man’s head during an undercover drug operation at a Southeast Washington housing complex, according to police and court documents. Wise said he had been struggling with the man, Barry Braxton, who was unarmed. Braxton sued and collected a $55,000 settlement from the District.

                  Sabrina Whittle, who was Wise’s partner, said in a recent interview that she and her partner were not taught to keep their fingers off the triggers of their Glocks unless they intended to fire.

                  You should read the link… it’s a littany of hilarity with unintended, negligent bullets flying around the DC police department locker room.

                  I mean, all hilarious until you read about the 18-year-old killed during a routine traffic stop. Then it stops being funny.

                  1. Damn.
                    My son goes to rifle marksmanship classes at the local club. They didn’t let him touch a rifle until he could recite them (without looking at the rules posters all over the walls).

            2. Think of it like this. All of these SWAT teams are extremely “well trained” to deal with tense situations, but yet we keep using SWAT teams in situations where it’s not really called for, so people keep getting accidentally shot.

              Repeating, “But they just weren’t properly trained” is playing into the hype and isn’t diffusing, but actually igniting a volatile situation.

              It’s not a question of whether or not the training is adequate, the question is, should we be creating a situation that requires such a high level of perfection from everyone involved, when it’s clearly difficult achieve such a level of perfection?

      2. it’s not “accidental discharge”. it’s NEGLIGENT discharge.

        1. Yes – I’m not talking about a gun discharging because it’s dropped – that pretty much doesn’t happen with a modern auto. NEVER try to catch a dropped pistol – you listening Plax?

          But people do grab the bang-switch without intending to. A Beretta or Sig with the manual safety engaged won’t fire in that circumstance – a Glock will.

          1. The trouble is, the people who are likely to fuck up and crank an ND into their legs are the same ones who wouldn’t bother with using a manual safety — or would flick it off every time they handle the weapon.

            The only true safety is between your ears.

    2. All guns are loaded, period. You don’t allow your muzzle to cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy, and you keep your booger-hook off the bangswitch until you are ready to shoot. A manual safety catch will not save someone stupid enough to lock back the slide, inert a loaded magazine, release the slide (chambering a round), point the gun at his foot and pull the trigger.

    3. They’re good-quality guns in every way, and there’s no denying that, but I really don’t like them. High-capacity ParaUSA 1911s are my favorite.

    4. I was just looking for an opening to announce that I just bought a Glock .40 (specifically, the 23) last weekend. My first handgun purchase. I’m so proud.

      Had to swap out one of the included 13-round magazines for a 10-round magazine. *headdesk* Chicago won’t let you have more than 12, presumably because it would be unsporting toward home invaders.

      1. By “home invaders” you mean SWAT, right?

        1. That actually makes sense when you think about… it… that way. LOL?

          Wait, who am I?

      2. You should move to Free America. You couldn’t pay me enough to live in Illinois, CA, NY, NJ, or any of the other states that have shitty firearm laws. Inevitably, the rest of their laws are just as shitty.

    5. that’s not true. they have more than one safety. read the manual

      otoh, they do not have an external manually operated safety (unless you consider the trigger safety one – and i do not)

      of course the ultimate safety is your mind. and your finger

      1. What I meant. I know you can toss them off a building or run them over with a tank and it won’t fire.

        I was trained with a manual safety so it makes me uncomfortable not to have it – so no Glock for me. I know they are good, so anyone who is going to carry that kind of pistol better be properly disciplined.

  13. Proof that safeties are bullshit!

  14. Will he be ordered to pay court costs and the DEA’s legal fees?
    He should.
    BTW: Where did he get the money to hire lawyers to sue?

    1. Where did he get the money to hire lawyers to sue?

      Last time I checked there’s good money in organized crime.

      1. i would imagine a lawyer would take this kind of case on contingency

  15. Why wasn’t his lawyer sanctioned for bringing a frivolous lawsuit?

    1. Because when you sanction one lawyer for a frivolous lawsuit, the next thing you know you have to sanction all the lawyers bringing forward frivolous lawsuits… then where would we be?

      1. we’d be much better off

        at least england has loser pays civil suits. i could go for that

        and i say that as somebody who successfully sued somebody last year

  16. Looks like this guy needs to make a video like Plaxico did on the merits of gun safety-


    I smell a sequel!!

    1. Lee Paige Returns: Dumbfuckistan Revesited.

  17. contrary to the reason meme, at least where i work (a right to carry state) cops do not think we have some sort of special firearms skillz.

    considering that we sometimes shoot at noncop ranges, we have all seen noncops who could blow us out of the water in a shooting comp (we have maybe a couple of elite IPSC shooters, but most cops are mediocre shots)

    also, let’s remember this guy is a FED

    local cops, e.g. real beat cops, are the first to criticize feds for being street-stupid (vs. streetwise), and for being know it all prima donnas

    iow, this video is a FAVORITE amongst local (non fed) cops, and in fact several of us have embedded it in the powerpoint presentation we use as part of our firearms classes.

    iow, DON’T DO THIS.

    1. The first time dunphy is observed being critical of an LEO it’s because the guy is a FED.

      iow, if he was a real cop dunphy would find a way to defend him.

      1. utter rubbish. i know your bigotry clouds your perception, but anybody who even has the SLIGHTEST knowledge about cops (clearly not you) know that there is always tension between local (real) cops and feds, and that we make fun of feds e.g Fan Belt Inspectors, Famous But Incompetent, etc.

        what is ironic is the very (false) stereotypes you guys have about cops are as bad or worse than the stereotypes libs at daily kos and DU have about libertarians

        similarly uninformed, informed only by bigotry and unreliable sources

        yet again, your bigotry blinds you to this

        but when you aren’t being ignorant, you are just flat out lying

        there are TONS of examples of me criticizing cops, as either incompetent, or outright criminal (e.g. most recently the melbourne case that i believe is criminal assault)

        you can’t EVER be truthful because your bigotry forbids it.

        i am a cop, therefore your bigoted preconceptions apply. not what i actually do or say

        1. I’ve had cops whisper to me how much they’d enjoy beating the shit out of me. I’ve overheard cops gleefully trading stories of beating the shit out of people. I’ve watched cops repeatedly slam a handcuffed 100lb weakling face first into the side of a van for no apparent reason. I’ve heard a drunk cop (en vino veritas) lament about never having an opportunity to kill someone.
          Add it all up, and yes I’m bigoted towards cop.
          I see a cop and I see a man who sought out a job carrying a club and a gun so he could use the tools of the trade.
          I see a cop and I see a sociopath with a gun.
          Why? Because of the words and actions of fellow police.

          1. dunphy (now he has ME using only lower case) doesn’t need me to jump to his defense, but this is bullshit. These all may have happened as you say, but pull your head out of your ass and realize that dunphy /= all cops, all cops /= those specific cops. If I had the time and inclination, I’d take your post and run lines through cop and put nigger or something else and it would sound just like some cracker Jim Crow. Dunphy gets a lot more shit than he deserves around here for having an opinion and an area of experience that is different than the rest of you. Frankly, I would listen to what he has to say about LEO more than any of you all, he actually knows something about it.

            1. All I know about cops is what I have seen with my own eyes, and it leads me to believe that the people who seek out the job are pieces of shit.

              I’m sure that there is the occasional good cop out there, but the other 99% give him a bad name.

          2. If you are being truthful, you know some real asshole cops.

            I know lots of cops. Guys I was on active duty with in the Marines who later became cops – and cops I served with in the Reserves and National Guard. I’ve never heard plenty of cop stories but never that kind of shit.

            I do agree that they are a mixed bag when it comes to marksmanship. Some really good, most mediocre.

            1. The only cop I “know” is my wife’s ex, who she left because of his explosive temper. She was afraid for her life. He wasn’t a cop at the time, he only went through the academy last year. His son who spends the weekends with us is afraid of him.

              Last time I chatted with him he couldn’t stop gushing about how he loves his job and how he couldn’t have a better bunch of guys to work with.

              He’s a nice enough guy, but I can tell that if you get in his way you’ll reap the whirlwind.

      2. Ya’ know there are plenty of times I disagree with dunphy but that kind of baiting is gratuitous.

    2. It is starting your moronic rambling defense of your pig buddies with trolling like that that makes people wish a crackhead would shoot you in the head and fuck the hole while you died

    3. contrary to the reason meme, at least where i work (a right to carry state) cops do not think we have some sort of special firearms skillz.

      Maybe the ones you work with don’t, but a large number, particularly in less-firearm friendly states, do. It’s so commonplace that many gun bloggers have taken to calling it “the only ones” syndrome.

  18. If this had happened in my kid’s class, I would be furious that they let that fucking moron in there to wave a loaded gun around the room full of kids. He was swinging that muzzle all over the place before he finally shot himself with it. What a dope.

    And one of the standard “arguments” of the gun control types is that police have “special training,” so they can be trusted to carry guns, unlike us mere “civilians.”

    This douchebag was showing off, plain and simple, with his “Glock fawty”.

  19. I remember when this video first came out, a lot of people were all like “fake!” I wasn’t sure myself, to be honest. It did look like it could easily have been a fake – and the guy didn’t seem to react too much to the fact that he had just shot himself in the leg or foot.

    It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that it’s real.

    1. getting shot is like being stabbed or shark bit. there are any # of instances where people don’t even realize it until later and/or it doesn’t hurt that much. obviously, sometimes, it’s insanely painful, but i have seen a guy who got shot (iow i saw him GET SHOT) and he didn’t even realize it until we pointed it out to him

      it happens

      the body is weird that way

      1. Embarrassment can be a pretty good pain suppressant too.

      2. And I’m an expert on getting shot too!

  20. I used to teach gun safety. Then I took a bullet to the knee.

  21. I have attended FrontSight several times. There are always cops in attendance. I have never seen a single cop that was more than mediocre at gun play. I am sure there are some, but not many. Not that it matters one way or the other.

    On Glocks: I love them, I own three. One of my favorite features is the trigger safety, it’s dead simple. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people at FrontSight fail to shoot a target because the safety was on. There was a negligent discharge during one of my classes there, the guy shot himself in the leg; he was shooting a Sig. Not to say that you can’t shoot yourself with a Glock, even if you are not a fed, if you pull the trigger and there is a round in the chamber the gun will go bang.

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