October 2nd, 2008
12:43 PM ET

Lieutenant Involved In Taser Incident Found Dead

Lieutenant Involved In Taser Incident Takes His Own Life. Watch the report
Lieutenant Involved In Taser Incident Takes His Own Life. Watch the report

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Michael Pigott turned 46-years-old yesterday. But there will be no celebrations. Only mourning.
The veteran New York City police lieutenant committed suicide yesterday. According to investigators, Pigott shot himself in the head with a .9 mm gun.

His death comes on the same day that Iman Morales was laid to rest. The two men, their deaths, are linked by a singular devastating incident.

Last week, Morales stood naked on a security gate above a Brooklyn sidewalk. He was screaming, and seemingly emotionally unstable. Police responded to the disturbance and confronted the 35-year-old Morales, who was holding a long light bulb tube.

Pigott was the highest ranking officer on the scene. He ordered another cop to use a taser gun to subdue Morales. The jolt of electricity instantly stunned Morales, whose body became rigid. To the horror of onlookers, Morales tumbled head-first onto the pavement. One witness described it as a death fall. Morales was rushed to the hospital, where he died. The chilling episode was videotaped. You can watch it here but we must warn you the images are graphic, depicting a man’s final moments alive.

Following a departmental investigation, Pigott and the officer who fired the taser gun were re-assigned. According to published reports, Pigott was distraught over the death of Morales. Officials say he left a suicide note, but not reveal the contents of the letter.
In an article published in Newsday, Pigott spoke about the incident and the toll it had taken on him. “”I am truly sorry for what happened to Mr. Morales, he said. “I feel terrible about what happened to the man.”

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Peter Schoffstall

    What does a trainbed police officer or a "interviewer" in a Mid-Eastern prison expect of a victim, wired for the same effect as a taser, will happen then hit: in the prison, he will fall off the box onto the cement floor. On a building ledge, he is most likely to fall off the ledge, one way or another. No wonder the suicide; it was no less than a murder. So it goes for obedience over foresight and morality.

    October 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  2. Mike in NYC

    Unfortunate situation for all involved.

    No doubt Pigott saw that he was about to be hung out to dry, and decided to exit on his own terms.

    October 2, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  3. j.da fonseca

    tasers are tools that can kill,they should be abolished from using totally.

    October 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  4. Cindy

    It is sad that Pigott decided to commit suicide. Ordering that Morales be tasered was the wrong thing to do but it didn't warrant him killing himself. Pigott being punished by the department would have sufficed. I guess his conscious couldn't handle it. I feel bad for his family, my prayers go out to them and to the Morales family.


    October 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm |