WASHINGTON – A young black mother, toddler in tow, mistakenly made a wrong turn near the White House on a crisp fall day.
A few minutes later, she was gunned down in several hails of bullets fired by Capitol Hill Police and Secret Service agents.
Big story, right?
It turns out to be the story no news agency wanted to cover – until WND Washington bureau chief Garth Kant, a veteran of CNN, MSNBC and other TV news outlets, got on the case and never let go.
Today, with the closing of submissions for the 2015 Pulitzer Prizes, his series on the strange death of Miriam Carey, 34, and the official cover-up involving the highest law enforcement officer in the land is officially nominated for consideration in the category of investigative reporting – a first for WND, the oldest independent Internet news outlet.
Additionally, the 2015 columns on the Carey case by Joseph Farah, WND’s founder, editor and chief executive officer, were submitted in the commentary category.
It’s not that the story never got any attention. On Oct. 3, 2013, it was the biggest news of the day in the nation’s capital.
First, reports characterized the incident as a potential terrorist attack.
Later, reports claimed she was mentally unbalanced or suffering from postpartum depression.
Later still, they claimed she rammed a security gate and ran over a police officer, fleeing at high speed.
None of that was true.
What no reporters bothered to explain was what law Carey broke, what she did wrong, what warranted the firing of dozens of rounds by police and Secret Service agents on the crowded streets of Washington, D.C., when an unarmed woman and her baby simply made a wrong turn.
“It took the persistent reporting of WND’s Garth Kant to break that logjam,” Farah said.
The unarmed mom was shot in the back by federals officers who claimed they fired in self-defense. Judging by photos of the scene, it’s a miracle her baby survived.
In reality, the Secret Service never tried to prevent Carey from entering the White House guard post at 15th and E Streets, NW.
They never even noticed her enter – then, for no known reason, they tried to stop her from leaving.
Carey had not only not rammed a White House gate or security barrier, the young mother tried to avoid hitting a bike rack a Secret Service officer dragged in front of her car.
Kant said, “It was obvious Carey was never trying to breach security but had simply made a wrong turn into the White House guard post, because the first and only thing she did there was immediately make a U-turn to leave.”
Kant got all that information just by looking at the initial police report.
He said that’s when it became obvious the official account of what happened just didn’t add up.
“I was just amazed no other news organization was bothering to follow up with this critical information,” Kant said.
At the insistence of Farah, Kant doggedly pursued the scandalous shooting until WND’s groundbreaking coverage produced evidence of a massive cover-up by Obama’s Justice Department.
But WND’s persistence has paid off, opening cracks in the official stonewall and making stunning revelations about misconduct and incompetence by the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police officers who chased Carey down and killed her, just for making a wrong turn.
As Kant stayed on the case and kept digging, he came up with some remarkable revelations.
He eventually broke the news:
- Carey was shot in the back.
- Officers claimed they shot her in self-defense.
- Her child in the backseat was covered in glass and blood.
- Carey didn’t break any laws.
- Carey didn’t try to enter the White House grounds.
- Carey did not ram a White House gate.
- Officers gave no reason for stopping Carey.
- Carey did not flee or speed away.
- Carey did not run over an officer.
- Police knew Carey was not a terrorist before they shot her.
- Secret Service officers violated their use of force policy.
- Police statements are missing.
- Witness statements are missing.
- Evidence is missing.
- Police refuse to release findings justifying the shooting.
To obtain the evidence used to make those revelations, Kant filed a series of legal inquiries and employed some old-fashioned shoe-leather investigation.
- He filed a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request for surveillance video and the forensics report.
- Police denied it, citing an ongoing investigation.
- He visited the shooting scene and discovered at least seven surveillance cameras.
- He spoke to an officer who confirmed the existence of video of the Carey shooting.
- He obtained a copy of the unpublished Secret Service policy on the use of force.
- He made a FOIA request for the police report and all evidence.
- After that was denied, he successfully appealed to the office of the Washington, D.C., mayor.
- He discovered the police report was missing key evidence.
- He made a FOIA request to the Justice Department for all evidence.
- After the Justice Department stonewalled, he enlisted Judicial Watch to sue the government to compel compliance.
- The Justice Department agreed to comply and turned over additional evidence.
Even after all of that, much key evidence was still missing.
Kant and Judicial Watch will take the Justice Department back to court in February in an attempt to obtain all the key missing evidence.
The most important evidence would be the analysis and findings federal investigators used when they declined to press any criminal charges against two Secret Service and two Capitol Police officers for the killing of Carey.
The Carey family attorney believes incompetence and over-zealousness contributed to the killing of Carey.
Kant is seeking to discover if the Justice Department is still withholding the evidence that would show whether that was the case.
The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department conducted the investigation. Its report was reviewed by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., a branch of the Justice Department.
Why is this case important?
Famed civil libertarian and 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary Nat Hentoff said the evidence is so strong that authorities recklessly killed Carey that the officers involved and their superiors must be held to account for her death for the sake of the country.
“[T]his is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder,” he said.
Hentoff, known as “Mr. First Amendment,” worried that if stories such as this were allowed to die, it could have ominous implications for the entire nation.
He lauded Kant for staying on the story.
“The way you handled that story ought to be taught in journalism schools. There are still a few journalism schools, I suppose, taking their work seriously, but this ought to be part of the curriculum. I mean it.”
Hentoff observed, “I’ve been a reporter for over 60 years and one of the first things I learned from older reporters was, ‘Remember kid, stay on a story that’s important.’ So, I commend Garth for staying on this story because, if this story is not resolved in favor of the most fundamental constitutional rights, what kind of country are we?
“All of the evidence I’ve seen, coming from Garth Kant’s report, which seems to me very thorough and can easily be backed up, is this is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder.”
Carey family attorney Eric Sanders, a former NYPD officer, also had high praise for Kant’s efforts, telling WND, “Garth has proven to have more character, integrity and investigative skill than any reporter I have ever encountered and, trust me, I have met many. ”
“There’s a reason WND has never before nominated any of its work for Pulitzer consideration – and it’s not that we haven’t considered much of it worthy,” said Farah, editor, founder and chief executive officer of the company. “For instance, WND was the first news agency in America to focus attention on the federalization and militarization of local police forces. We did that beginning in 1997. But our colleagues, those who consider such submissions, simply did not see it as a significant problem back then. Only recently have you seen other news agencies take the matter seriously. Quite simply and candidly, WND’s reporting on fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government has been so far ahead of its time that nominations for such projects would never have had a chance at recognition. There are many other examples I could cite.
“But, in the case of the Miriam Carey story, WND has already been cited by other news agencies for its determined leadership in rolling back the layers of an enormous and scandalous cover-up. Media outlets with far different perspectives and orientation have paid tribute to the coverage, been inspired by it and followed up to do work of their own on the Carey case. That is one of the hallmarks of the kind of breakthrough reporting that the Pulitzers have recognized in the past. We also took notice and encouragement by the comments of many readers who said, quite honestly, ‘WND should win the Pulitzer Prize for its work in the Miriam Carey case.'”
WND’s persistence caused other media outlets to take another look at the Carey killing.
More than a year after her death, the Washington Post published a story that acknowledged the official version of events did not add up.
Half a year later, in April 2015, Mother Jones published a similar piece, noting, “The media outlet that pursued Miriam’s story with the most zeal was WorldNetDaily (WND) … which published more than 50 pieces about her.”
Actually, by the end of 2015, WND had published more than 80 pieces about Carey.
Kant has written 36 investigative stories on the Carey case, 16 of them in 2015.
The following are the 10 stories he wrote on Carey in 2015 that were submitted to the Pulitzer Prize committee.