Yesterday, a Connecticut woman
tried to drive her car through security checks at the White House. Then she turned the car around, hit a Secret Service agent, and led police on a chase through Washington. Then the police shot and killed her.
The woman was named Miriam Carey. She was a 34-year old dental hygienist from Stamford, Connecticut. She had her 1-year old daughter in the car with her.
Carey’s friends and family were astonished when they were called by reporters and asked to react to what had happened. Carey’s sister Amy had talked to Carey only two days earlier — in Stamford. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
The early reports out of Washington yesterday were that the driver of the car had fired shots at police. Later, it was discovered that all the shots were fired by police. Carey herself was unarmed.
Given what happened a couple of weeks ago at the Navy Yard, given the mass shootings that happen with regularity in this country, and given the fact that Carey tried to drive her car into the White House driveway and had already hit a federal officer, it’s not surprising that police were on edge. And if you appear to physically threaten to the President of the United States, or the Congress-people on Capitol Hill, you’re probably signing away any benefit of the doubt, even if it later turns out that you were unarmed.
So I’m not judging anyone yet.
But I would like to hear the police’s explanation for why they shot and killed Carey instead of, say, starting with shooting out her tires and disabling her car.
Did she appear to threaten them in some way other than with her car?
Did they think she had a gun or a bomb?
Did they know she had a child in her car with her?
Again, I’m not saying police shouldn’t have killed Carey. And I understand how easy it is to be critical in hindsight. But some additional explanation of what prompted the police to shoot and kill an unarmed mother with a child in the car would be helpful.
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