The 2013 police shooting death of Miriam Carey has received new attention after the Capitol riot last week caused many Black activists to draw contrasts between the responses to the predominantly pro-Trump White crowd and to the George Floyd unrest over the summer.
Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn., was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police and Secret Service on Oct. 3, 2013, after leading officers on a high-speed chase from the White House.
An investigation conducted by the Justice Department concluded on July 10, 2014, and no local criminal or federal civil rights charges were filed against the officers involved.
But her sister, Valerie Carey, spoke to news outlets last week, arguing that rioters on Capitol Hill were handled with care and consideration that was never afforded to her sister. She said her family is petitioning to have the investigation into her sister’s death reopened.
“They were treated with entitlement and it’s ridiculous,” Valerie Carey, a retired New York City police sergeant, said in an interview with CNN, referring to the rioters. “We all know had it been a Black person or brown person that situation would have been different.
“My sister didn’t breach security, she made a U-turn and she was ultimately gunned down,” claimed Carey, whose account differs from the Justice Department’s official summary of events from that day. “There shouldn’t have been a chase to begin with.”
With her 1-year-old daughter in the back seat, Carey allegedly drove through a well-marked, restricted White House checkpoint without authorization and without stopping. As an officer began setting up a bike rack to block her path, Carey knocked him to the ground with her vehicle, according to the Justice Department.
Carey then headed down Pennsylvania Avenue, going between 40 and 80 miles per hour, and ignored officers’ commands to get out of the vehicle. They boxed her in at Garfield Circle in front of the U.S. Capitol, a review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department found.
But she reversed into a police cruiser behind her, before driving onto the sidewalk, forcing officers to run out of the way, according to the Justice Department. Officers fired several rounds at the vehicle. The U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court, and other buildings in the Capitol square were put on lockdown.
Carey made it to a U.S. Capitol Police truck checkpoint, not far from the Senate and House office buildings, hopped the curb and struck an unmarked Supreme Court police officer’s vehicle. Officers running toward the vehicle with their guns drawn fired once Carey again reversed toward them. Her vehicle crashed into a kiosk, then stopped.
An autopsy found she sustained five gunshot wounds to her neck and torso area, one of which was fatal. The child was not seriously injured and is now 8 years old, family said.
“They didn’t see my sister as a person. I don’t even believe they would’ve shot a dog in the street that way,” Valerie Carey said in a separate interview with NY 1. “The state of my sister’s mind in that moment, no one can speak to it and it’s really damaging. My sister was driving. She wasn’t in the commission of a crime. She had no weapon on her.”
Miriam Carey was not under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, and no weapon was recovered from her vehicle, according to the Justice Department. Valerie told CNN that her sister briefly suffered from post partum depression after giving birth, but her family told NY 1 that reports claiming Miriam was in a mental health crisis at the time she died are false.
Eric Sanders, the attorney representing the Carey family, did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment Sunday.
U.S. Capitol Police also did not return a request for comment.
The review of the incident “included interviews of more than 60 witnesses and careful review of all crime scene evidence, ballistics reports, scene and traffic video footage, photographs, the autopsy report, and other evidence,” the Justice Department said in 2014.
During the police pursuit, an officer was seriously injured after crashing into a barricade that rose from the ground when the complex went into lockdown. The officer was airlifted to the hospital, and witnesses told police the crash sounded like an explosion.