The firing of a Taser stun gun that led an emotionally disturbed man to fall from a Brooklyn building ledge to his death appeared to have violated police department guidelines, the New York Times reports. The guidelines tell officers that when possible, the Taser, which fires barbs that deliver thousands of volts of electrical current, should not be used in situations when a person could fall from an elevated surface.
The lieutenant who gave the order to use the Taser was Michael Pigott, a 21-year veteran of the force. He was placed on modified assignment without his gun and badge, and the officer who fired the weapon was put on administrative duty amid an investigation by the Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney. Officers at the scene had called for an inflatable bag, but it had not yet arrived when the man, Iman Morales, 35, was struck with the device and fell. “None of the E.S.U. officers on the scene were positioned to break his fall, nor did they devise a plan in advance to do so,” said a spokesman, referring to the elite police Emergency Service Unit.