(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of an investigative series seeking the truth in the police shooting of unarmed, suburban mother Miriam Carey outside the nation’s Capitol on Oct. 3, 2013. Read Part 1: ‘Murdered’ mom cover-up implodes as report released)
WASHINGTON – The deadly police chase that cost the life of unarmed, suburban mother Miriam Carey apparently was not triggered by her actions, but by those of federal officers, according to an analysis of information contained in the official police report obtained exclusively by WND.
The information indicates Carey did not violate any laws when she drove up to a White House guard post, apparently by mistake, then immediately tried to leave.
Nothing in the police report cited any laws Carey broke at the White House.
Carey family attorney Eric Sanders noted the application for the search warrant for Carey’s car never accused her of violating any laws at all.
In order to obtain a search warrant, he explained, officers must show probable cause that a crime was committed.
But nowhere on the warrant is there an accusation that Carey committed any crimes.
The application filed in the U.S District Court on Oct. 4, 2013, claimed a search warrant for Carey’s car was justified because:
“The person or property to be searched, described above, is believed to conceal expended bullets or bullet fragments; vehicle ownership paperwork; maps, documents, and/or photographs of, or pertaining to, the White House; alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal); and/or evidence of a mechanical malfunction or lack thereof may be inside the suspect vehicle.”
It was approved by Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson.
Sanders called the judge’s approval of the warrant “a rubber stamp for a fishing expedition to try to justify the killing of Miriam Carey after the fact.”
An affidavit filed by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department in support of the search warrant merely accused Carey of violating “several traffic regulations.”
The police report of the incident, recently obtained exclusively by WND, also shows the question of why federal officers chose to chase her at all is still entirely unexplained by authorities.
The police report indicates:
- Carey was not trying to enter the White House grounds
- White House guards failed to man their post or notice her approach
- She did not ram a security barrier
- She did not hit a police officer
- She did not flee or speed away
- Police knew of the child in her car before the deadly chase began
In its exhaustive quest to learn the truth about why federal officers shot and killed Carey on Oct. 3, 2013, WND filed a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request to obtain the final police report, which was, inexplicably, never released to the public.
That request was denied by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, or MPD, which was tasked with investigating the incident and filing a report explaining why two uniformed U.S. Secret Service officers and two U.S. Capitol Police officers fired at Carey. The report was reviewed by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Washington for the District of Columbia, a branch of the Justice Department.
But months after the FOIA request was denied, the Washington, D.C., mayor’s office approved an appeal of that decision and WND has since reviewed the material in the report, which contained numerous revelations that appear to contradict authorities’ official version of how Carey ended up dead.
As WND reported in the first part of this series on the Carey case, the federal officer who fired what may have been the shot that killed her claimed he pulled the trigger because he feared for his life – even though she was driving away from him when he shot at her from the back.
WND also reported Sanders called the report “smoking-gun” evidence that there was no real investigation, only a cover-up.
In large part, that was because the police report contained no final report or the findings of the shooting investigation, even though that is precisely what WND sought in its FOIA request:
“All materials used in the investigation into the October 3, 2013, fatal shooting of Miriam Carey, by uniformed agents of the U.S. Secret Service, and officers of the U.S. Capitol Police Department, to include the final report and findings of that investigation.”
Although much information was missing in the report provided to WND, what was there revealed a lot.
Carey was not trying to enter the White House
On Oct. 3, 2013, the 34-year-old dental hygienist and single mother drove the 265 miles to Washington from her home in Stamford, Conn., with her 13-month-old daughter strapped into the backseat, and somehow ended up at the White House entrance guard post at 15th and E streets NW.
There is no evidence any officers saw her drive up to the entrance, or were even there to greet her to check her identification and stop her from proceeding.
The statement from the uniformed Secret Service officer on duty at the post merely said: “The driver did not stop at the guard shack as required by protocol so I could check her ID. She just kept going. I hit on the back end of the car to try to get it to stop, and she still didn’t stop. She wasn’t going fast.”
The statement does not say he saw her car approach or that he tried to stop her at the entrance.
That would seem to suggest he was not at the post, or not manning it properly, and failed to see her until she had driven past him and he banged on the back of her car to try to get her attention.
The statement does not say he actually saw her car at all, until she was preparing to make a U-turn to immediately try to leave.
It also indicates Carey made no attempt to breach security or posed any threat because, not only was she trying to leave, as the officer reported, “She wasn’t going fast.”
The security video shot at the guard post would show exactly what happened but authorities have refused to release it without explanation, and it was not provided to WND even though the FOIA request was for all materials used in the investigation.
In fact, the guard’s actual statement was not even released to WND.
The entirety of what the report described as “a brief synopsis” of the guard’s witness interview reads:
“Officer (redacted) states that he was at his assigned post along with Officer (redacted) the guard shack at 15th and E St NW when a black car came onto the White House grounds. The driver did not stop at the guard shack as required by protocol so I could check her ID. She just kept going. I hit on the back end of the car to try to get it to stop, and she still didn’t stop. She wasn’t going fast. As she got the next set of barracks she made a U-turn and came back towards us. At this time she came to a stop or slowed down to an almost stop, I tried to open the front driver’s door but it was locked. I noticed that there was a baby in the car. Officer attempted to stop the vehicle by putting bike rack in its path. The car stopped then accelerated and Officer was knocked off his feet and over the vehicle. A look was broadcast as the vehicle traveled west on Pennsylvania Ave. The driver was a black female wearing a pink hat. She did not make any eye contact with me. I hit the car several times to get her to stop and she just kept stirring (sic) straight ahead.”
Carey did not ram security barrier or hit an officer
What the statement above fails to mention is that the Secret Service officer who “attempted to stop the vehicle by putting bike rack in its path” was off-duty and apparently just passing by, with a cooler in his hands.
The fact the officer was off-duty was confirmed by a Justice Department statement on July 10, 2013, which announced no criminal charges would be filed against any officers, in the portion that read, “Carey then struck the bike rack, and the off-duty Secret Service officer who was standing behind it.”
But, according to an eyewitness, Carey did not didn’t strike the temporary gate (referred to as a bike rack) but tried to drive around it when the off-duty officer dragged it back in front of her car.
Based on what police told them, the New York Times reported Carey “was shot to death after turning her vehicle into a weapon on Thursday afternoon, ramming her way through barriers outside the White House and on Capitol Hill.”
NBC reported, “A Connecticut woman tried to breach a barrier at the White House, setting off a high-speed car chase that put the Capitol on lockdown and ended with her being shot dead by police.”
ABC said she “was shot dead by police today after allegedly attempting to ram the White House gates and leading authorities on a high-speed chase to the U.S. Capitol.”
But, “ramming her way through barriers outside the White House” and trying “to breach a barrier at the White House,” as well as, “attempting to ram the White House gates,” differ markedly from what a witness saw.
According to a witness at the White House who was on vacation from Australia, Carey did not attempt to ram the White House gates or a barrier.
In fact, she tried to drive around the gate the off-duty officer dragged in front of her car:
“A male was pulling a gate in front of the vehicle to keep the vehicle in the area. The vehicle attempted to flee the area but the man pulled the gate back in front of the vehicle.”
The entire synopsis of the witness interview reads:
“Mr. (redacted) states that he was on the back side of the White House when he observed a black Infinity four door vehicle with dark tint on the windows. This vehicle was being driven by a black female whose hair was tied in a ponytail. The vehicle was in a barricade area near the White House. A male was pulling a gate in front of the vehicle to keep the vehicle in the area. The vehicle attempted to flee the area but the man pulled the gate back in front of the vehicle. The vehicle then hit the gate knocking this man to the ground. The vehicle fled at an average speed but sent into oncoming traffic to avoid being caught in traffic according to this witness. The police officers then got on their radios at this time. Mr.IM stated that the police officers were wearing white shirts.”
Even the police description of Carey’s encounter with the off-duty officer confirms Carey did not hit the officer, she hit the gate, which “spun around” and hit him.
Under the document titled Metropolitan Police Department Incident Summary Sheet, the synopsis reads:
“The United States Secret Service police officer attempted to block the vehicle with a bicycle rack; however, the vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack, which spun around knocking the officer over.”
Additionally, the police affidavit requesting a search warrant did not state that Carey was accused of assaulting an officer, merely that her “vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack, knocking the officer to the ground.”
Carey did not flee or speed away
A statement from another witness visiting from Australia (or possibly another statement from the same witness – with the names redacted, it is unclear) contradicts the claim that Carey tried to flee.
The statement indicates that rather than “flee” in an attempt elude officers, the first thing Carey did after exiting the White House guard post was stop at a red light.
“A large framed male with a cooler pulled a barrier to block this vehicle. The black vehicle hit the barrier which knocked the man to the ground. Mr. (redacted) states that marked police vehicles with lights and sirens began chasing the vehicle. It is the belief of this witness that the vehicle stopped at a traffic light.”
The first statement from the Australian witness also contradicts the police assertion that Carey sped away from the White House.
The relevant portion of that statement read:
“The vehicle fled at an average speed but sent (sic) into oncoming traffic to avoid being caught in traffic according to this witness.”
In fact, not only did Carey then reportedly stop at a traffic light, the evidence indicates she proceeded to drive very slowly in the direction of the Capitol, nowhere near the speeds of up to 80 mph as claimed in the Justice Department statement.
One witness who described the police chase of Carey stated “the speed of vehicles was approximately 40 miles per hour when the vehicles passed her.”
Not one of the witness gave an estimate of Carey traveling at more than 40 mph.
In fact, she may have been traveling significantly slower in her trek from the White House to the Capitol.
As WND has previously reported, the Washington Post deduced Carey’s average speed along that route was “19.5 mph in a 25-mph zone.”
And her average speed from the Capitol to the spot where the chase ended at 2nd St. and Maryland Ave. was “42 mph.”
Detailed evidence Carey was not speeding will be examined in more depth and detail in WND’s next article in this series.
Police knew of child in Carey’s car before deadly chase began
At least one officer knew there was a child in Carey’s car.
And, since he was the Secret Service officer at the White House where the chase began, it would seem that all of the officers should have known they were shooting at a car with an infant strapped into the back seat.
The account from the White House guard includes this statement:
“As she got the next set of barracks she made a U-turn and came back towards us. At this time she came to a stop or slowed down to an almost stop, I tried to open the front driver’s door but it was locked. I noticed that there was a baby in the car.”
That guard saw Carey’s 14-month old daughter strapped into the backseat of the black Infiniti G37.
Why the officers pursuing Carey did not seem to know her child was in the car was not explained.
Did the person who radioed in the report not mention the child?
Or did the dispatcher fail to inform the pursuing officers?
The account from a Capitol Police officer who witnessed the crash of Carey’s car at the end of the chase read:
“Officer (redacted) said when the shots stopped he ran towards the suspect’s vehicle and noticed a small child in the back seat in a car seat. Officer (redacted) said the driver was unresponsive and he signaled to the other officers there was a child in the car. Officer (redacted) said he broke the car window and pulled the child from the car. Officer said the child was covered with glass and blood. Officer (redacted) said he wiped the child off and checked her for any injuries. Officer (redacted) said he rushed the child indoors and had a nurse treat the child. Officer (redacted) said he rode in the ambulance with the child to Children’s Hospital.
That indicates officers involved in the chase were not aware a child was in the car, but nothing in the report indicates why they did not know that, when it was known from the start.
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Why did officers try to stop Carey?
Sanders pointed out it is not illegal to drive up to a White House guard post and then try to leave.
He told WND officers had no reason, and no legal justification, to stop Carey from exiting the guard post.
The police report does not explain why the Secret Service officers tried to stop Carey from leaving.
The police report does not explain what the off-duty Secret Service agent who tried to stop Carey was doing at the White House guard post or why he was there.
Also unexplained is why he tried to stop Carey at all, other than he saw two other Secret Service officers trying to stop her.
But those on-duty officers never gave an explanation as to why they had tried to prevent Carey from leaving the guard post after they had failed to prevent her from entering what was supposed to be a secured area.
There was no witness statement from the off-duty officer in the material given to WND.
There was only this, under the heading of Event Chronology:
“Officer (redacted) of the USSS (Secret Service) was off-duty and walking by the checkpoint when he observed Officers (redacted) and (redacted) attempting to stop Ms. Carey. In an effort to assist, Officer (redacted) placed a bicycle rack in the path of Ms. Carey’s vehicle, but she failed to stop. Instead, she drove through the bicycle rack, which struck Officer (redacted) and knocked him to the ground.”
Carey family attorney Eric Sanders said it was not unreasonable to ask if the officer was intoxicated, given that he was carrying a cooler.
The cooler is plainly visible in one of the few photos of the incident at the White House guard post released by the U.S. Attorney.
Sanders also cited the recent history of Secret Service officers as reason to ask whether the off-duty officer was intoxicated.
On March 11, the Washington Post reported:
“The Obama administration is investigating allegations that two senior Secret Service agents, including a top member of the president’s protective detail, drove a government car into White House security barricades after drinking at a late-night party.”
And, unlike Carey, those officers actually did ram a White House barrier:
“The vehicle ran through security tape before hitting the barricades, which an agency official said had been set up temporarily during the investigation of the package.”
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned in October 2014 after a series of departmental scandals and serious security breaches at the White House.
- An intruder armed with a knife jumped a fence, raced across the White House lawn and made it several hundred feet inside the Executive Mansion in September.
- A Secret Service agent was discovered passed out inside the hallway of a hotel in the Netherlands in March 2014.
- And in April 2012, Secret Service officers were accused of soliciting and partying with prostitutes in Colombia before a presidential visit.
Pierson’s replacement, Joseph Clancy, admitted to Congress in March that Secret Service agents often turn to alcohol to cope with stress.
The Guardian reported the agency was “struggling to address alcohol dependency among the nation’s top security detail – and a culture of hiding information instead of sharing it.”
“We’ve got to find a way to help some of these people that are going towards alcohol as a coping mechanism,” testified Clancy.
Was the off-duty officer who tried to stop Carey tested for sobriety?
There was no evidence in the material provided to WND that he was.
Did that off-duty officer participate in the pursuit of Carey?
Was he one of the officers who shot at Carey?
Did he even fire the shot that killed her?
Nothing in the evidence obtained by WND provided any answers to those questions.
Read the first part of WND’s investigative series seeking the facts in death of Miriam Carey based on the police report, never before released to the public: ‘Murdered’ mom cover-up implodes as report released
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth