Miriam Carey Is Still Dead

As stories of terror go, it was a flash in the pan.  The likely reason was that it ended promptly, with the death of Miriam Carey, reports explained, who “tried to ram a barricade in front of the White House before speeding off.”  So she was shot to death from behind, as her one-year-old in a car seat survived.

Peculiar story, for sure, but there were a series of explanations for such bizarre behavior. Drugs. Mental illness, which overcame the suburban Connecticut dental hygienist mother. Who knows why someone would ram a barricade at the White House.

The results of the investigation might provide some explanation, except nothing has been publicly released. Same with the video outside the White House. Eight months later and there is nothing.

[S]ince the initial news conference on Oct. 3, no one in authority has even attempted to explain why Carey was killed or what happened that day to cause the Capitol to go into lockdown.

“It’s just bizarre. What’s so complex about this incident? It’s a police shooting. You know who the parties are. You know who discharged their weapons. I mean, c’mon, it’s not complex. We should have known within in a week or two. I don’t understand what’s taking so long,”

That comes from Carey’s lawyer, Eric Sanders, a former NYPD cop, who plans to sue for her death, who is awaiting the results of the investigation and, more importantly, the video.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is reviewing the investigation concluded months ago by the D.C. Metro Police, told WND, “The matter remains under review, and we have no further comment at this time.”

It is the same response WND has regularly received from that office since it began reviewing the report, months ago.

Are authorities just hoping people will forget about the story and it will go away from lack of publicity?

That’s an excellent question, as the answer appears to be that Carey, with her daughter in the back seat, made a wrong turn into the south gate of the White House, panicked, u-turned and drove away.  And so the police started firing.

When Mike Paar sent me a link to this story, it was because this otherwise “insignificant” story was curious, as it was now eight months old and there were no answers.  But for the World Net Daily article, which billed the killing as “fascinating,” it would have easily fallen into obscurity, a one-day wonder story.

When it was included in a post here, it didn’t warrant any particular scrutiny.  The ramming of a barricade was still the explanation du jour, and its interest was found in the need to shoot the fleeing car. Because they need to shoot at fleeing cars, which the Supreme Court says is fine.

Once the story is stripped of its ramming the barricade myth, however, there is no justification under Tennessee v. Garner as there was no fleeing felon.  There was only an embarrassed dental hygienist. With her one-year-old in the back seat.

Now knowing that there was no barricade ramming, no drugs, no mental illness, the story of Miriam Carey’s death becomes even less interesting, and yet more a story of importance.  If, as believed, this was an overreaction by police to a woman who made a wrong turn, who then shot her to death and is now burying their mistake by invoking excuse number 4, and no one cares, we’ve got another problem.

Have “mistaken” police killings become so pedestrian that we shrug them off this easily?  Do we forget so quickly that merely delaying the outcome of an investigation assures that people will lose interest in the mistaken killing?  Does our fear of terror cause us to swallow the myth so easily that no one questions why a mother from Stamford with her daughter in the backseat would decide to try to ram her way into the White House?

There are bigger cases, causes, questions raised every day, and the guys caught up in the politics of such things will focus on them with breathless attention and Sunday morning news show attacks and ripostes.  The death of Miriam Carey will never make Entertainment Tonight, because there are so many more important stories about Bieber and Miley and Brangelina.

Nor am I immune, as I had forgotten all about Miriam Carey until Mike sent me this link.  As Eric Sanders says, there should have been an answer to what happened within a couple of weeks, and yet here we are, eight months later, being fed the standard excuse.  Miriam Carey’s daughter deserves better. Miriam Carey deserves better.  Eric Sanders deserves better.  I, on the other hand, do not deserve better because I forgot all about Carey and her daughter. And for that, I am ashamed.

10 thoughts on “Miriam Carey Is Still Dead

  1. Marc R

    1) If the police came out and admitted it was a big mistake (as part of some 1983 settlement) and paid the $200K (or whatever the cap in DC is for gov’t actors) is that the recognition needed? Most these “mistakes” have the corrective mantra of “the department is regretful and will require new rigorous training for all officers in those fields.”

    2) The police don’t have anything on her to blame the victim yet. Usually it’s some old pot arrest to call her a former convict or the name of her old psychologist to call her a former mental patient, or something else to rationalize the shoot. Once the feds find an old high school enemy of hers to talk smack, they’ll portray her in that light through their disseminated press reports.

    3) Your last sentence…you can’t bring them all up. Look at the toddler who the police hit with a grenade (this is the 2nd time that’s happened in recent memory). Until local law enforcement stop pretending they’re patrolling some Taliban stronghold, there will be far too many cases for you to ever publicize to your high standard, Scott.

    1. SHG Post author

      This isn’t about me. This isn’t about having a “solution” for every problem. To the extent something that happens here can help someone or something in some small way, then it serves a purpose. I have no delusion that anything that appears here will save humanity, but I have no excuse not to do what little I can to help.

      1. PaulaMarie Susi

        You’re right, Scott, it isn’t about you at all. It’a about keeping a light on disturbing issues that we should all be concerned about.

        Thank you.

      2. Brett Middleton

        How can we not forget when every day brings us a new outrage — another video execution, another burned baby, another unarmed suspect shot in the back, another court ruling telling us “‘sall good, man” — to add to the list? How does it help, even a little, to momentarily raise Miriam back above the background noise of countless similar incidents of intolerable behavior, like a drowning victim coming up for a last gasp? What is the technique that will turn our newly-remembered outrage, disgust, and righteous anger over this into something other than another ulcer? What leverage does it give us to break through the official silence and get to something more real than the fallback position of “acted according to policy, but we promise we’ll review that policy”?

        Look at Balko’s recent lengthy list of flash-bang incidents. Each of them outraged us at the time and most are long forgotten. But I’m not sure it’s fair to say they were forgotten “easily”. It’s just that the human mind is too limited to contain the monstrous whole in detail, even when Balko lays it out for us. A few minutes later the details start to fade again, unless we constantly revisit them like a tongue poking at an aching tooth. Yet, despite all this history, we keep burning babies. The poster children come and go, but the problem remains.

        Sometimes I wonder if forgetting the poster children (but not the problem) isn’t the only thing that keeps some of us from running out to join the crazies who shout about tearing it ALL down and sowing salt on the ruins.

        1. SHG Post author

          I made a point to Radley a while back about whether we (more him than me, but I like to include myself in useful things whenever I can slip it in relatively unnoticed) do a disservice by the constant stream of new outrages; Do we add to people’s insight or do we inure them to tragedies until they’re just numb and nothing registers.

          It’s a problem.

          1. Brett Middleton

            I don’t think I’d want to be the reporter who tells the next family that gets stonewalled that their grief, confusion, and outrage is no longer interesting.

            Down one path we may become numb. But down the other we can stay in our comfort zone by sticking our fingers in our ears and singing “la la la la”, because the rare story that makes the cut will be easier to dismiss as a fluke. “Can’t happen here,” we’ll be told. “If Excuse #4 is so universal, how come we never see it in the papers?” we’ll be asked. “Where’s the evidence?”

            Somehow I think that would be even worse than letting Excuse #4 go on as one of the constant running gags of this comedy. Even the clueless now know the excuse script by heart. It has to be worth something when we can no longer justify our inertia by speaking of “isolated incidents” and “a few bad apples” without embarrassing ourselves.

  2. Pingback: Still no answers in the Miriam Carey case « Quotulatiousness

  3. st

    Surely this case is an outlier. Police engage in a million discretionary decisions/actions a day, and most do no harm and are, indeed, done in good faith.

    If you focus too hard on the things that go wrong, often terribly wrong, you forget that you never hear about the things that don’t.

    So even if a consistent pattern of horrific abuses can be identified, so long as they remain a small fraction of those million daily discretionary decisions/actions, it is better to endure them and fight to make it better.

    What did I miss?

    1. SHG Post author

      …it is better to endure them and fight to make it better.

      I have no clue what you mean when you write it’s better to endure them, but the reason we remember these “outlier” (which aren’t nearly as much of an outlier as some prefer to think) is to make it better. We fight to make it better in the hope that no one else has to endure them. Enduring needless death at the hands of the police really isn’t a good thing. In fact, it’s a really bad thing, that no one should have to endure.

  4. Pingback: What I’m Reading: June 5, 2014 – ASK Musings

Comments are closed.