(Editor’s note: This is Part 3 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 and Part 2: Police report: Federal cops caused deadly chase)
WASHINGTON – When the evidence in the 322-page police report obtained exclusively by WND is added up, the most basic question of all remains:
Why is Miriam Carey dead?
Why did federal officers chase and shoot to death an unarmed, suburban mother with her child in the backseat of her car after doing nothing more than apparently making a wrong turn at a White House guard post?
Now that he has seen the police report, Carey family attorney Eric Sanders stands by his original assessment: Machismo killed Carey.
“Miriam was killed due to BS male machismo, nothing more, nothing less,” Sanders told WND.
He said the key to the mystery was actually quite simple: It all boiled down to wounded pride and aggressive response from an officer who failed to stop her at a White House guard post.
The attorney was referring to an off-duty Secret Service officer who dragged a temporary gate in front of Carey’s car after she made a U-turn and immediately tried to leave the guard post.
Sanders said he stands by his previous comment to WND that an officer chased down Carey because the one overriding thought in his mind was: “This b—- f—— hit me with her car.”
“I told you this was all about bravado from the beginning, didn’t I?” he added back in July 2013, a few days after the Department of Justice announced it would not file criminal charges against officers in the death of Carey.
“Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a police cover up with the assistance of the so-called ‘objective’ Department of Justice,” he told WND, now that he has combed through the police report.
“The Department of Justice’s so-called ‘overview’ strains credulity. Quite frankly, based upon the snippets of limited information gathered in this so-called objective investigative ‘report’ it’s reasonable to conclude Miriam Iris Carey’s only ‘crime,’ God-forbid, was not stopping for the police.”
He added, “To this day and forever going forward, the police can’t offer articulable, ‘credible,’ objective facts that Miriam committed any violation of the law.”
It might be difficult to dispute Sander’s analysis because nothing in the police report offers any other explanation.
His argument appears even more compelling when the main findings of WND’s previous two stories in this series are put in one place.
The police report had:
- No summary of findings or final report: An email stated police did not intend to do a final report
- No analysis: An email indicated police did not want to do an analysis that would expose them to a lawsuit
- No justification: The report provided no evidence or claim the shooting was justified
- No crimes committed: The search warrant showed no probable cause to suspect Carey committed any crimes
- No motive: The search warrant showed police were looking for evidence of a terrorist motive after the fact
- No motive: The report showed no evidence Carey tried to enter the White House
- No motive: The report showed Carey immediately tried to leave the White House guard post
- Missing statements: No statements from the four officers who shot at Carey
- Missing witness accounts: The report contained only 34 out of a total of 72 witness statements it said were taken
- Missing video: The report contained no security or dash-cam video
- Missing photographs: The report contained no photographs
- Missing communications: No recordings or transcripts of police communications during the chase were provided
- Missing information: Large blocks of type are blacked out, indicating more than just names were redacted
- Missing evidence: Carey’s clothes did not arrive at medical examiner, just her naked body
The report did show:
- No one stopped Carey from entering the guard post
- Officers only tried to stop her from leaving the guard post
- Carey did not ram a security barrier
- Police were told on the radio Carey had rammed White House barriers
- Carey did not hit an officer with her car
- A White House officer saw Carey’s child in her car before officers shot at her car
The death of Miriam Carey remains a mystery even with the police report made public because so much information is still missing, particularly the findings of the investigation into her shooting, which WND requested.
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.
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.”
On Oct. 3, 2013, 34-year-old dental hygienist and single mother Miriam Carey drove the 265 miles to Washington from her home in Stamford, Connecticut, with her 13-month-old daughter strapped into the backseat.
At 2:13 p.m., she drove up to a White House-entrance guard post at 15th and E streets NW, apparently by mistake, because she immediately made a U-turn to try to leave.
Officers inexplicably tried to stop her from leaving, then chased and shot at her.
Seven minutes later, Miriam Carey was dead.
So, in light of all the evidence, missing evidence and unanswered questions cited above, the basic question remains: Why was she chased?
No assault on an officer
Under the heading “Subject of Force,” the police report obtained by WND does state:
“Violations during police contact: Assault on a Police Officer (APO) DC Code 22 Sec 404.”
However, Section 22-404 of the criminal code of the District of Columbia isn’t “Assault on a Police Officer.”
It’s general assault.
Section 22-405 is assault on a police officer.
Under Title 22, Chapter 4 of the D.C. criminal code:
§ 22-404 is: “Assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner; stalking.”
§ 22-405 is: “Assault on member of police force, campus or university special police, or fire department.”
Sanders, a former New York Police Department officer who became an attorney, told WND police that did not cite the specific code referencing an assault on a police officer because they knew that would never stand up under scrutiny or in court.
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Indeed, no assault charge was cited by police as probable cause of criminal activity in its application for the search warrant of Carey’s car.
Officer did not identify himself
Another reason police may have not cited the code on assaulting an officer may have been because the Secret Service officer who confronted Carey was off-duty.
That off-duty officer was in street clothes and carrying a cooler when he dragged a temporary gate in front of Carey’s car as she tried to leave the White House guard post.
The evidence indicated he did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer.
Not one of the civilian witnesses at the White House guard post said the off-duty officer identified himself as a law enforcement officer.
Video of the Garfield Circle shootings taken by news crew:
The statement from the officer on duty at the guard post does not mention the off-duty officer ever identified himself, although he was described as an “officer”:
“As she got to 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.”
Sanders said that means Carey had no way of knowing the man in front of her car was an officer.
And, given that he had not identified himself, she would not be legally culpable of assaulting an officer.
Furthermore, there apparently never was any assault at all, by the police report’s own account.
The report does contain a number of references to Carey’s car having struck a gate (or, bike rack) and knocking down the man holding up that gate.
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.”
So, 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.
That description of events was confirmed by a witness at the White House who was a visitor from Australia.
The witness indicated Carey tried to avoid hitting the gate and the officer.
But when she tried to drive around the gate, the officer moved it right back in front of her.
The witness said, “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.”
On top of all that, 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 speed
One reason police gave for pursing Carey was that she refused to stop, but instead, tried to flee and sped away from the White House.
A statement from a witness visiting from Australia contradicts the police claim that Carey sped away from the White House.
The statement indicated 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.”
Another statement from an 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 then 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.
A police witness did state Carey was traveling at “a high rate of speed” on Pennsylvania Ave., but he provided no estimate of her miles per hour.
Not one of the witnesses 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.”
That was based on it taking Carey four minutes to travel the 1.3 miles from the White House guard post to Garfield Circle.
And her average speed from the Capitol to the spot where the chase ended at 2nd St. and Maryland Ave. was “42 mph.”
That was based on her taking two minutes to travel the 0.7 miles, including making a loop at the Peace Circle, after spending about a minute of her 7-minute journey at Garfield Circle.
That was confirmed by a witness who described the police chase of Carey on Constitution Ave. from Garfield Circle and stated she was going about 40 mph:
“Ms. (redacted) heard the shells and saw the lights on the police vehicles at which time she pulled her vehicle Lu the side of the road. The black vehicle passed followed by the two police vehicles which still had on their lights and sirens. This witness believes that the speed of vehicles was approximately 40 miles per hour when the vehicles passed her.”