DEA Agent Lee Paige Still Won’t Go Away

Everyone’s favorite gun-handling expert, DEA agent Lee Paige of the agency’s Orlando office, has provided gunnies with years of YouTube guffaws and keyboard-fouling coffeespits as we’ve relived the, er, “professional” demonstrating gun safety for a room full of impressionable yoots back in 2004. You might think that kind of publicly self-inflicted beclowning would induce someone to slink away and keep a generally low profile. You’d be wrong. The now former undercover agent has been on a personal crusade ever since the indisputable video evidence of his incompetence hit the intertubes. His quest: to wring some cash out of his employer over the release of the video…

That’s right, Paige has argued (and lost) in court claiming that his privacy was violated when someone at the agency let the once-viral video loose in the electronic wilds.

Paige sued the DEA in Washington federal district court, alleging that leaking the video violated his privacy rights. A roughly four-minute clip of the shooting—cut and copied from a longer tape of the lecture—made its way online.

A federal trial judge ruled in December 2010 for the DEA, saying among other things that Paige has failed to identify the leaker and cannot therefore show that any person acted willfully and intentionally. The identity of the leaker remains unknown despite a two-year DEA internal investigation.

The judge, Jack Shanstrom, also noted the shooting occurred in a public forum while Paige was on duty. Paige, once an undercover agent, said the publicity the video received prohibits him from working undercover.

But as LegalTimes tells us, Paige remains unbowed. He’s back again, ambulance-chaser in tow, arguing his case in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today spent much of its time examining whether the four-minute video of the shooting was ever a part of the DEA’s “system of records.”

That’s a threshold question for the appeals court. To convince the court that he is entitled to protection under federal privacy laws, Paige must show that the video clip was a part of the DEA’s record system.

Paige apparently figures the only way to find the silver lining in being viciously snarked upon and embarrassed in front of a good percentage of the world’s computer owners is to extract a nice chunk of taxpayer money from the DEA. Here’s hoping Agent Paige enjoys every bit as much success in his legal efforts as he did in his safety demonstration.

21 Responses to DEA Agent Lee Paige Still Won’t Go Away

  1. avatarDanny McBee says:

    Still make’s me smack my fore head in rage over how stupid that was.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    It seems that after shooting himself in the leg, Agent Lee (please turn the) Paige is bound and determined to shoot himself in the foot. Hey, Lee, you’re an arrogant schmuck. If you’re smart, you’ll just let it go at that.

  3. avatarAaron says:

    Well, if his lawsuit doesn’t bear any fruit, he could join Plaxico in the “negligent discharge self injury” club and work for the Brady campaign.

  4. avatarLeo Atrox says:

    That’s the first time I’ve seen what happened after he shot himself. So he continued the lecture (what the …) and brought out another gun, freaking out a number of kids. Nice.

    Alright look … If you do undercover work, you probably shouldn’t be doing public lectures wearing a shirt that says “police” on the front and “DEA” on the back. Is this standard practice? To stick undercover agents out there representing the police? If so, it wasn’t the video of his stupidity that put his ability to do undercover work at risk. The practice of using undercover agents for publicity (even in schools) already did that.

    • avatarAaron says:

      I think the law enforcement indicia he wore were just for effect. Even though he is “plainclothes” showing up casually dressed in regular street clothes might have been a bit odd. I have issues with these “cop in the classroom” visits, anyway. Unless they’re SWAT, the firearm they carry should be de-emphasized, and the officer’s role in maintaining law and order should be emphasized. Things have gone south if a uniformed officer has to draw a weapon, and disastrously wrong if a plainclothes cop or undercover agent has to do it. Police (other than SWAT) generally aren’t gunfighters by trade – that weapon backs up the mantle of authority we’ve given them as a society to enforce our laws. Yes, the kiddies want to know about the pistol on the officer’s hip, but it needs to be brought into context. That said, I certainly don’t have an issue with an officer of any type giving a separate firearms safety briefing for kids. In fact, I think that gun safety, stripped of any political trappings, is a perfectly appropriate subject.

  5. avatarKirk in Utah says:

    The moral of the story is- If you are going to do something stupid like shooting yourself in the foot, don’t do it in front of an audience with a camera running.

  6. avatarPete says:

    “The identity of the leaker remains unknown despite a two-year DEA internal investigation.” Probably because it was leaked by 200 ATF agents who were laughing themselves to death while they reviewed it.

    “The judge, Jack Shanstrom, also noted the shooting occurred in a public forum while Paige was on duty. ” And I would just like to say, as a taxpayer, that I very much appreciate seeing the results of my taxpayer-financed firearms safety training for ATF agents. Hey, he even showed the Glock with the slide back to his fellow agents to have them verify that it was an “empty gun”. This kind of publicity certainly makes me proud of our Federal law enforcement agents.

    • avatarPete says:

      Ooops, sorry, that’s DEA leakers and firearms safety training, not ATF. We all know that ATF represents the true experts on handling and moving guns – into Mexico. But they move them in a safe manner!

  7. avatarTTACer says:

    I am the only one on this blog qualified to make a posting about this inci-dhiialofnlkasddlkajsdlasjd

  8. avatarracer88 says:

    I’m surprised none of the children’s parents sued the SCHOOL for placing their children in mortal danger. If I had been one of those parents, I would have at the very least dressed down the school’s superintendent in a BIG way.

  9. avatarreilly peestov says:

    my FAVORITE part of the video is when he asks his partner to hand him the other firearm, and he doesnt even budge. then the kid yells “put it down”

    a close second is when he keeps trying to keep order in the room, but there is not even a whisper coming from the room.

    W H A T A T O O L

    additionally, there is no “Glock Fowtee”—I believe its a Glock 21 in .40 Caliber

    wow—good thing he was a professional, just think what a non-professional would have done

  10. avatarM.G. MILLER says:

    I just can’t believe that this hasn’t been settled. Build him some guns out of lego blocks and have him do demonstrations, or reenactments of how he shot himself. Pushing this just proves once and for all that he is a DANGER, mostly to himself. It’s like, what happened, oh I shot myself but it wasn’t my fault so you should give me some compensation, or punitive damages, YEA RIGHT. 50 cent and too short don’t have bullet wounds. You could write the glock 40 song and launch a new career in RAP MUSIC. And study the muzzle blast dance that you invented, while snapping your fingers. We may be onto something here, can I have a share if the music goes platnum?

  11. avatarike 52 says:

    Just what was he doing in a SCHOOL with a loaded gun.. and anyone who knows anything about GUNS knows that the gun cannot discharge unless your trigger finger is inside the trigger guard!!!! I’ m just glad this MORON never pointed his GLOCK in my direction. DO NOT place your finger inside the trigger guard unless your target /suspect , has been positively IDENTIFIED>> too bad he didn’t aim alittle higher.. he could have saved us all the court COSTS.. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO HUNTING WITH MR. PAIGE??

  12. avatarM.G. MILLER says:

    I heard that he had been promoted to the BOMB SQUAD.

  13. avatarRick D says:

    Well…. After I got done rolling on the floor laughing my head off, I came to realize how easily an accidental discharge could happen to anyone from just a momentary lapse of awareness and adherence to safety procedures. His reputation, and the respect he had earned over a long career was destroyed in the few seconds that he took his eye off the ball. The truth is that he got lucky, really lucky, in that his momentary lapse of awareness only killed his reputation and not one of the fifty children in the classroom. Instead of blaming the DEA for ruining his “rep”, he should be eternally grateful that he did not have to live the rest of his life with the guilt of knowing that he was responsible for ending the
    life of another.

  14. avatarMax says:

    “…said the publicity the video received prohibits him from working undercover.”

    I’d say his inability to properly handle a loaded weapon prohibits ‘him’ from working with one again.

  15. avatarBruce says:

    Is it racist to call this moron a black ass idiot ? Probably,but. I dont care !

  16. avatarHollywood says:

    EI think he’s an Hero,!!!! Lee Paige was doing a demonstration for a GOOD cause & something went wrong. This man didn’t panic he kept his composure & still proceed on while injured but also made sure everyone was safe as well!!!! That being he an Black African American Man working for the DEA AGENT & An Hero

    • avatarZBs says:

      This wasn’t an instance of something “going wrong” as if it were an unpreventable natural disaster. This was the simple result of poor trigger discipline. Guns don’t just go off on their own; people fire them. He didn’t visually clear his weapon and paid a fairly small price for his irresponsibility. If that’s your idea of heroism, I guess the term has lost more meaning than I thought.

    • avatarSteve says:

      He should have shot himself in the head. Then he would be a “TRUE” hero!

  17. avatarSteve Buell says:

    He should have shot himself in the head. Then he would be a “TRUE” HERO!

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