(This is Part I of a three-part series on new evidence WND has obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice in the investigation into the shooting death of Miriam Carey by federal officers. Read Part II, “Evidence: Feds fired wildly at unarmed mom,” and Part III, “Was unarmed woman trapped when cops shot her dead?”)
WASHINGTON – How in the world did a toddler in the backseat survive the barrage of bullets puncturing the car in the photograph above?
And did she really escape unscathed, as authorities assured her family?
WND has obtained evidence that may put that in doubt.
It shows just how close federal officers came to killing that little girl.
And it raises questions about whether she was hurt, perhaps seriously.
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on behalf of WND to force the Department of Justice to comply with a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requesting information in the Carey case investigation.
WND is now revealing information provided by the Justice Department.
The yellow rods in the photograph above show the location of the bullet holes and the angles of the shots fired by federal officers at the back of the car driven by unarmed, suburban mother Miriam Carey on Oct. 3, 2013. Carey did not survive the onslaught.
Her 14-month-old-daughter somehow did. She was strapped into a child car seat in the backseat on the right side.
In the following close-up, the rod on the right shows how one shot came within about an inch of the child’s car seat – well within reach of a dangling arm.
The Justice Department said the officers at the scene of the deadly shooting “discovered that there was a young child in the vehicle,” in its statement issued July 10, 2014, announcing no charges would be filed against officers.
But if officers did not know there was a child in the car before they fired their weapons, they should have.
No one knows why Carey drove up to the Secret Service guard post at 15th and E streets NW, about three blocks from the actual White House, but it appears to be fairly clear she did so by mistake because she immediately made a quick U-turn and proceeded to leave.
Secret Service guards, whose job it is prevent unauthorized people from entering the White House grounds, for some still-unexplained reason, then tried to stop her from leaving.
The initial police report aid the driver “refused to stop at the vehicle checkpoint and made a U-turn and began to flee.”
But information dug up by WND indicates it was the guards who failed to stop her, not she who failed to stop. The statement of the uniformed Secret Service agent on duty made no mention of attempting to stop Carey’s car until it was past him.
Where were the agents?
“You know how she got past them? Because they were over there, smoking and joking and lackadaisical, just like I said from the beginning. That’s why they don’t want to show the video!” was the explanation offered by Carey family attorney Eric Sanders.
Indeed, the agent’s statement merely said, “The driver did not stop as the guard shack as required by protocol so I could check her ID. She just kept going,” and then made a U-turn to leave. Nowhere did he state that he tried to stop her car, or even saw it, until it was past him.
What precisely happened could have been verified if the DOJ had provided video of the encounter at the gate, but the department, without explanation, failed to include that key bit of evidence among the many videos provided in response the FOIA.
And, for still unexplained reasons, once Carey departed the guard post, federal officers pursued her car and shot the unarmed woman dead a few blocks from the Capitol.
Significantly, the Secret Service agent who initially tried to stop Carey at the White House guard post told investigators, “I noticed that there was a baby in the car.”
Once Carey departed, agents got on their radios, according to an eyewitness interviewed by investigators.
Did the agents fail to report a child was in the car? Or did the dispatcher fail to report the presence of a child when issuing a radio report to officers to be on the lookout for Carey’s car?
“Thus far, it’s unconfirmed if that information was ever broadcasted,” Sanders told WND. “However, according to the former uniformed Secret Service officer who contacted me, that information was transmitted over the air to the dispatcher who, in turn, notified the U.S. Capitol Police.
“In any event, the officers’ conduct was willful and absolutely reckless, a total disregard of Miriam’s and her daughter’s civil rights,” the former NYPD officer added. “This is supported by the simple fact, the USSS-UD [Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service] pursuit policy specifically prohibited pursuing Miriam’s vehicle. The same can be said for the U.S. Capitol Police.”
“It’s important to note, neither agency turned over any radio transmission. You know why?” he asked rhetorically. “Because such information doesn’t support their legal position.”
The Justice Department said the child “was not seriously injured.”
The following photo of the car seat was provided to WND by the Justice Department:
A closer look:
The photos show shattered glass strewn all around the child seat.
Even more ominously, they appear to show blood smears or spatter on the side of the child seat.
The side where the bullet hit.
That raises serious questions:
- Is it Carey’s blood or her child’s?
- Was the child injured?
- If so, how seriously?
- Was she shot?
- If so, how badly was she wounded?
- Did she suffer cuts from flying glass?
- Did she suffer any other physical trauma?
- What about psychological trauma?
- What is the effect on a 14-month-old child who witnesses her own mother shot to death in front of her?
In the words of the Capitol Police officer who removed the child from the car, she was “covered in glass and blood,” according to his witness account obtained by WND.
“Officer (redacted) said when the shots stopped he ran toward 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 (redacted) said the child was covered in 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.”
A police investigative report said: “The officers also observed a child, who was conscious and breathing at the time, seated in the rear of the vehicle. The child was immediately removed from the vehicle and provided medical attention.”
Note, the statements do not say whether the child was injured or not. One states the need for immediate medical attention. The other said the officer “rushed the child indoors and had a nurse treat the child.”
- What kind of immediate medical attention was required?
- Did the child have specific injuries?
- If so, how severe were those injuries?
- What did the nurse do?
- Why was it necessary to take the child to the hospital?
- What treatment did she receive there?
Not only was the officer compelled to get the child immediate medical attention, he also found it necessary to accompany her to the hospital.
Admirable actions by an officer who showed exemplary concern for the child’s welfare. Perhaps it was an overabundance of precaution. But why such evident urgency?
The officer may have provided the answer in a part of a document that was not fully provided to WND.
The Incident/Investigation Report compiled by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, the agency that investigated the actions of the Capitol Police and the Secret Service (later reviewed by the Justice Department’s U.S. Attorneys Office for Washington, D.C.) contains a “Brief synopsis of interview with USCP (Capitol Police) Officer (name redacted).”
The statement contains these two sentences:
“Officer (redacted) said the driver was unresponsive and he signaled to the other officers there was a 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.”
But that, apparently, wasn’t all he said.
The next four lines in the statement are completely blacked out.
Were they a description of the child’s injuries?
Police told WND they had only redacted information to hide the identity of witnesses.
It would appear there is more than just an identity of a witness contained in a paragraph’s worth of description.
If the child had been injured, wouldn’t the family know?
The Carey family has had extremely limited access to the child since the shooting.
A court awarded custody of the child to her father, Carey’s former boyfriend, with whom she was estranged.
WND asked Sanders if the little girl was OK. Had the Carey family seen any wounds, scars or injuries?
It turns out, the child’s aunts and grandmother did not even see her until months after the shooting.
“Oh, they only saw her once or twice for a very, very brief time in the presence of the father in public places. The visits occurred in or around spring 2014,” said the attorney.
Sanders said the Carey family hasn’t physically seen the child for almost a year.
“Nor were they ever in the position to ascertain whether she was injured,” he said. “Nor were they ever informed by the father or the child’s lawyer handling the estate of her physical or mental status.”
The attorney added, “For that matter, other than me trying to keep the legal claims alive (on behalf of the family) and investigating Miriam’s death, no one, including the father, did anything for her legally or otherwise.”
The headlines on Oct. 3, 2013, were about Miriam Carey. Most major publications mistakenly reported she was shot after attempting to ram her way into the White House.
Lost in the shuffle was the fate of a forgotten little victim, the daughter who lost her mother.
Over the last two years, WND has published more than 80 stories on the Carey case.
WND has uncovered shocking facts. Still, the greatest mystery of all remains, the very one this publication asked while reporting from the shooting scene on the day it happened: Did she have to die?
Even long before WND uncovered all of the additional details in the police report, when famed civil libertarian Nat Hentoff heard the basic facts of the case in December of 2013, he said, based on all of the evidence he had seen in WND’s reports, which he called very thorough and easily corroborated, “This is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder.”
WND broke the following revelations in the Carey case over the last two years:
Carey was shot in the back
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
Bad information may’ve triggered the police chase
Police knew of the child in Carey’s car before the chase
Police knew Carey was not a terrorist before they shot her
Officer claimed to shoot in self-defense
Police statements are missing
Witness statements are missing
Video of the chase and shooting is missing
Evidence is missing
Police refuse to release official explanation of why officers shot Carey
Police refuse to release official explanation of why officers were not charged for killing Carey
Four legal experts concluded officers murdered Carey
Carey family filed $200 million claim for her death
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth