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Commanding officer commits suicide

4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.

Cyril Josh Barker

Amsterdam News Staff

The commanding officer who told police to Taser an emotionally unstable man resulting in his death committed suicide early Thursday morning. Reports indicate that New York City police Lt. Michael Piggott shot himself in the head in a locker room at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

Piggott , a 21-year veteran of the force, was stripped of his gun and badge and assigned to desk duty after he ordered officers to Taser Iman Morales who was fell 10 stories after being Tasered. The emotionally-disturbed Morales had climbed a ledge of a building, naked before officers Tasered him. He landed on his head and later died at a Kings County Hospital.

The NYPD said that the act was outside of departmental guidelines and ordered Emergency Service Unit members to go through retraining of emotionally-disturbed people. A new commanding officer for the Emergency Service Unit was also named.

Commissioner Ray Kelly offered his condolences to the family of the lieutenant . Mayor Michael Bloomberg also addressed the matter during his Thursday press conference about extending term limits.

"I was saddened this morning to hear of the death of Lieutenant Michael Pigott from a self-inflected gunshot room at the NYPD facility at Floyd Bennett Field. The Lieutenant was deeply distraught and extremely remorseful over the death of Iman Morales in Brooklyn last week. Sadly his death just compounds the tragedy of the loss of Mr. Morales," Bloomberg said.

Piggot committed suicide on his 46th birthday. He leave behind three children and wife. He said that he was "truly sorry" for Morales' death in an interview with Newsday. Piggots' death comes on the day that Morales was being laid to rest at his funeral. Services were held in Manhattan at Our Lady of Pompeii Church.