A couple days ago the mentally ill man Iman Morales was standing naked on a fire escape, while neighbors tried to talk him down. Police arrived and tried to do the same, but he moved away from them and started to brandish a light tube. Lt. Michael Pigott ordered that a Taser be fired at Morales, though he was precariously balanced on a thin ledge. Morales fell headfirst onto the pavement from 10 feet up, and died later at the hospital from head trauma. The below video is EXTREMELY GRAPHIC, so don't watch it if you're senstive.
The NYPD admitted its error:
"The order to employ the Taser under these circumstances appears to have violated guidelines, reissued June 4, 2008, which specifically state that 'when possible, the [device] should not be used . . . in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
In the New York Post, the statement of Morales' mother is heartbreaking:
Olga Negron said police refused to let her try to persuade her son - standing nude on a ledge and waving a long florescent tube - to come inside.
"I asked them to let me go to my son. They said, 'We're taking care of it. We're taking care of it,' " the distraught woman said.
"There was no reason to do what they did," Negron added, breaking down in tears. "I was there. I saw when he fell and he broke his head. I saw it. I'm in very deep pain. He was a good son."
In the latest tragic development, the police lieutenant (pictured) who ordered the officer to fire the Taser has killed himself. From the Post:
Lt. Michael Pigott's body was found by another officer who was reporting for duty around 6 a.m. in a locker room at Floyd Bennett Field with a gunshot wound to the head.