“Federal agents trying to stop the black Infiniti speeding between the White House and the U.S. Capitol fired seven shots at an unarmed driver with a toddler in the car as it rushed away from them, an uncommon tactic that occurred during a highly unusual chase,” washingtonpost.com reports. “A total of at least 17 shots were fired at two locations Thursday afternoon by two law enforcement agencies — the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Secret Service. The final shots, near the Hart Senate Office Building, killed 34-year-old Miriam Carey of Connecticut, who police said had tried to ram through a security barrier at the White House, knocked over a uniformed Secret Service agent, hit cruisers and breached the outer security perimeter of the Capitol grounds.” Well, as Nick, Dan and I discussed at last night’s Google hangout . . .
The Secret Service should have taken out Ms. Carey at the White House (despite Nick’s reassurance on potential bomb blast effects on the White House). I reckon the moment someone mounts a potentially lethal attack on the President of the United States is the moment they forfeit their life.
Whether or not you agree with that assessment, the Internet’s abuzz with condemnation of the police procedure during the automotive attack. People (and not just Alex Jones followers) are asserting that the overwhelming armed response and Ms. Carey’s “assassination” indicate a nascent (or existing) police state. The WaPo article will do nothing to assuage those fears.
The vast majority of big-city police agencies — including in the District — prohibit or strictly limit their officers from shooting at moving vehicles. But it’s unclear whether the Capitol Police or Secret Service violated their policies during the chase or the shootings.
Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman, declined to provide a copy of his agency’s use-of-force or chase policies. Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, did the same.
Leary and Schneider declined to comment on the incident at all, including whether their officers knew that Carey’s 1-year-old daughter was in the car when they fired into it, killing Carey. The toddler was unharmed and is in protective custody as authorities work with Carey’s family to properly place the girl.
The shooting is being investigated by the D.C. police department’s Internal Affairs Division. The Secret Service and Capitol Police will determine whether officers followed their departments’ use-of-force policies. The U.S. attorney’s office will decide whether the agents broke any laws, a D.C. police spokeswoman said.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said investigators still do not know which agency’s officers fired at each location. Shots were fired at Garfield Circle, with the car moving, and again at the final spot, a guard shack on Maryland Avenue NE, with the car stopped.
Again, I’m wondering why they didn’t shoot Ms. Carey sooner. But I’m not wondering if the D.C. IA or the SS will reveal their findings to the people who pay (paid?) their salaries. No doubt the information will be sheltered from public scrutiny in the name of national security.
Meanwhile, the WaPo revealed their local po-po’s hit ratio: “D.C. officers shot 32 people in 1998, killing 12. They shot nine people last year, four of them fatally.” Maybe the question here is, again, police marksmanship.