GENTLEMAN, HERO, DEDICATED POLICE OFFICER
LIEUTENANT, EMERGENCY SERVICES UNIT
Lieutenant Michael Pigott shot himself on Thursday, October 2, 2008, his 46th birthday, at a police training center in Brooklyn.
This veteran commander of the department’s Emergency Services Unit had been placed on modified duty after he had ordered another officer to fire a Taser stun gun at an EDP who was thrashing out at other responding ESU cops. After being struck by the Taser, the EDP tumbled 10 feet to the sidewalk, hit his head and died.
The NYPD disciplined Pigott for failing to follow procedure, stripping him of his gun and badge and assigning him to a job with the department's motor vehicle fleet. This is what the department does at times like these - it casts its workers aside, in what can best be described as a "we'll get back to you later" attitude.
At his funeral this past week, Rev. Douglas Madlon revealed during the service that Michael, stripped of his badge and gun, was afraid he wouldn't be a police officer and had said to him, "I'm not a desk person." He feared for the possibility of putting his family through the ordeal of seeing him get arrested. I'm sure the corps of media people camped out in front of his house, waiting to get a picture for their tabloid of Mike coming outside to get the newspaper, or walking to his car, only fueled this feeling he had. This same media that then wondered "how could something like this possibly happen?"
If you did not know Mike, you quickly got a clear picture of him from those who did.
“He was a gentle-hearted person, big heart, friendly, sweet”, is how a neighbor described him. “Everybody loved him”.
“I have known Mike through the job when he worked in the 81 Pct doing late tours. In that time where crack exploded along with violence the 79 and 81 late tour was made up of a special group of guys. Almost regularly arriving to help on each others jobs. Mike was one of those special group of guys. Time and career changes always separates people physically. Seeing Mike as our careers moved forward always brought a warm smile and a hug”, notes another NYPD veteran.
“Mike Pigott woke up and came to work to help strangers in their personal time of chaos. He chose to place himself in that position. He chose to make a difference. We choose to make a difference. This very sad chain of events is a tragedy. I am sad for Mike and all he had to deal with. I saw the pain in his face that day on Tompkins Ave. He said things would not be the same. I can close my eyes and see him saying this as I sit here. We work in a career of second guesses - happens all the time - every day at every level. We are human. We are expected to carry the world and all of it problems. We are human”, very appropriately notes this same friend of Mike’s.
May God and his angels deliver Mike to a place in heaven where he will be at peace. May they bring comfort to his family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pigott family, through this time of sorrow.
A terrible tragedy. Please remember Mike Pigott, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers.