It’s a startling contrast that leaves a grieving family wanting answers: Why did federal authorities fire as many as 20 shots at an unarmed black mother with no criminal history who made a wrong turn into a White House gate – killing her in front of her toddler – and later take an armed white woman, who was a known security threat, into custody without firing a single shot?
Jessica Ford, 35, was arrested Feb. 23 after she intentionally rammed a White House security barrier with her white Chevy minivan. When Secret Service officers attempted to stop her, she reversed and struck the barrier two more times.
Authorities said she had a pistol in her hand while she was driving, though the firearm was reportedly pointed away from officers. When ordered to drop her weapon multiple times, Ford wouldn’t comply. So officers forcibly confiscated the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun that resembled a Beretta 9 mm pistol. They pulled Ford through the driver’s side window and placed her in handcuffs – all without a single shot fired.
“Ford spontaneously told officers that she had come to the White House to visit her husband James Burris, who she asserted lived in the White House with her children,” court documents state.
The Secret Service had reason to believe Ford posed an imminent security threat. The woman has a history of criminal violations near White House grounds. In fact, she was arrested in the area three times just last year.
In April, she tried to jump over a White House security barrier. Ford was ordered to stay away from the White House after she pleaded guilty to an unlawful entry charge.
In May, Ford tried to climb the White House fence, violating the order to keep away from the president’s residence.
In July, Ford was arrested for violating the stay-away order, and she pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges. As terms of a plea agreement, the charges from the May arrest were dropped. Ford was originally sentenced to 120 days in jail, but she was given a year of supervised probation instead.
Now Ford is facing multiple charges, including unlawful entry, aggravated assault on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon – car, destruction of government property and contempt of court. Ford appeared in court Monday and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
But Ford is fortunate in one aspect: She’s still alive.
That’s not the case for another woman who was shot to death in 2013 following an incident at a White House guard post.
Ford’s arrest is in stark contrast to the Secret Service’s shooting of unarmed suburban mother Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist, on Oct. 3, 2013.
Carey – who had her 14-month-old daughter strapped into the back seat of her black Nissan Infiniti – had mistakenly driven up to a White House guard post and tried to make a U-turn so she could leave. Secret Service agents tried to stop her from leaving.
When Carey departed the post, federal officers pursued her, ultimately shooting her five times from behind in a volley of 18 bullets at the conclusion of a car chase. Carey died at the scene. Her daughter wasn’t harmed.
Video of the Garfield Circle shootings taken by news crew:
Carey’s sister, Valarie, wants to know: Why did the two cases turn out so differently?
Carey tweeted on Feb. 23: “So this is the face of the woman who intentionally crashed a gate near the White House WITH a gun on her. My sister Miriam Carey was unarmed, no crime committed MADE A UTURN and was gunned down. #Justice4MiriamCarey.”
She also tweeted: “NO shots fired. No baby endangered. No innocent woman killed like my sister #MiriamCarey who DID NOT CRASH into any barrier, [never] committed any crime.”
Valarie Carey told Washington, D.C.’s Fox 5 the two cases expose a “double standard” at the Secret Service.
“There was no regard for my sister’s life – nor the baby’s life – but there was regard for this woman,” she said. “What’s different?”
Carey continued: “There was no justification for what happened to my sister, and this is not to say that [Ford] should have been shot down. But what I am saying is, the same way that she was handled, why wasn’t my sister handled that way?”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office determined in 2014 that officers involved in the Carey shooting wouldn’t be charged. The Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. police have never revealed the identities of the officers who killed Carey. WND reached out to the U.S. Secret Service for comment on why the two cases were handled so differently but the agency hadn’t responded to requests for comment by the time of this report.
WND’s former White House correspondent, Garth Kant, was the first reporter on the scene that fateful day when Carey was killed. He later authored “Capitol Crime: Washington’s Cover-Up of the Killing of Miriam Carey.”
“Miriam Carey may have saved this woman’s life because it looks like authorities may have learned a lesson, because of the extraordinary lengths they went to not kill Ford, given her circumstances compared to Miriam’s,” Kant told WND. “However, this case magnifies the need for justice for Miriam Carey and her family.”
Muhammad Abdul Raheem, an officer in the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service for 11 years at the time, decided to go public and reveal his identity because he felt the killing of Carey was unjust. Raheem told WND:
- “Everybody knew it was a cover-up.”
- “Secret Service policy had been so obviously violated.”
- “They all knew it was unlawful to pursue Carey because no felony had been committed.”
- “Lying is so prevalent, they don’t even have to tell people to lie. People are so programmed, they don’t have to be told to lie. It’s done out of fear.”
- Secret Service officers initially thought “someone was going to jail over it because it was such an obvious bad shooting.”
- “Whoever fired the rounds that took her life unjustly, they should be charged. The superiors who tried to cover it up, or were involved, them as well.”
Some of Kant’s explosive news reports on the Carey case include the following:
- Covering chaos: The Capitol Hill shooting
- Why did Capitol cops cut down ‘innocent’ woman?
- Legal experts: D.C. cops murdered woman
- Famous security expert: Was this murder?
- Missing! Video of mother killed by police
- Congress urged to investigate ‘murder’ by D.C. cops
- D.C. cops stonewall release of Capitol shooting video
- Cops knew suburban mom was no terrorist
- U.S. sued over unarmed mom’s D.C. killing
- News media silent in scandalous mystery
- Cops opt for ‘the fix’ after mom’s puzzling death
- Chief’s alibi for deadly shooting ridiculed
- Mom killed by Capitol cops was shot in the back
- Fascinating D.C. murder mystery stranger by the day
- ‘Beyond B.S.’: Attorney erupts over D.C. ‘cover-up’
- Carey protest silent, just like cops who shot her
- WND sues Justice Dept. over mom’s ‘murder’
- ‘Murdered’ mom’s family files $200 million claim
- ‘Murdered’ mom cover-up implodes as report released
- Police report: Federal cops caused deadly chase
- Attorney: Police machismo killed unarmed mom
- DOJ: ‘No comment’ on why cops killed mom
- ‘Smoking-gun documents prove unarmed mom wrongly killed’
- Police knew of child in ‘murdered mom’s’ car
- Secret Service covered toddler in glass and blood
- Evidence: Feds fired wildly at unarmed mom
- Was unarmed woman trapped when cops shot her dead?
- ‘Murdered mom’ attorney strikes back against DOJ