Police Review Capitol Chase
WASHINGTON – Police in Washington are reviewing the use of officers’ deadly force in the killing of a woman who tried to ram her car through a White House barrier, a shooting her family says was unjustified.
The investigation will reconstruct the car chase and shooting, which briefly put the U.S. Capitol on lockdown, and explore how officers dealt with the driver and whether protocols were followed.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said he was confident the officers “did the best they could under the situation.” Police guarding national landmarks need to make rapid decisions without the luxury of all the facts, he said.
“This is not a routine highway or city traffic stop. It is simply not that,” Gainer said Saturday. “The milieu under which we’re operating at the United States Capitol and I suspect at the White House and at icons up in New York is an anti-terrorism approach, and that is a difference with a huge, huge distinction.”
Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine maintained that his officers acted “heroically” to protect the community.
Still, the family of 34-year-old Miriam Carey called the shooting unjustified, and some deadly force experts agree it merits scrutiny.
“We’re still very confused as a family why she’s not still alive,” Amy Carey-Jones said in New York late Friday after traveling to Washington to identify Miriam Carey’s body. “I really feel like it’s not justified, not justified.” Another sister, retired New York City police officer Valarie Carey, said there was “no need for a gun to be used when there was no gunfire coming from the vehicle.”
Secret Service agents and Capitol Police officers fired shots during the Thursday afternoon en-counter, which began when Carey – in a black Infiniti with her 1-year-old daughter – rammed a White House barricade and was pursued by police toward the Capitol during a high-speed chase. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she was confident after the shooting that Carey’s actions were “not an accident,” but the department’s internal affairs division is investigating as part of standard protocol.
Carey struck a Secret Service agent with her car at the White House and reversed her vehicle into a police car, authorities say. A Capitol Police officer was also injured.