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Who was the mom who paralyzed D.C. for a day?

February 10, 2014

Miriam Carey


WASHINGTON — Under crystal-clear skies on a warm autumn day, suburban mother  Miriam Carey left her home in Stamford, Conn., to drive 270 miles to Washington,  D.C., on a trip from which she would never return.

To this day, no one really knows why she was gunned-down by federal officers  in the shadow of the Capitol dome.

The 34-year-old dental hygienist had her beloved infant daughter buckled into  the back seat of her black Nissan Infiniti on Oct. 3, 2013, when she apparently  made a wrong turn and suddenly found herself at a security checkpoint at the  White House.

Miriam Carey shooting press conference. WND photo by  Garth Kant.

The media mistakenly reported that Carey rammed a barrier or a gate, but the  initial police report mentions only that she tried to make a U-turn.

Read the initial police report on the Miriam Carey case, Page 1 and Page 2.

No one knows for sure, because, as WND has repeatedly reported, authorities have refused to release all  surveillance video of the incident, and still have not even released the  official investigation.

Carey’s family believes she panicked when officers drew their guns, causing  her to flee the scene and lead police on a wild car chase that paralyzed the  nation’s capital and captured the world’s attention, as local, national and  international media breathlessly followed the unfolding drama.

The pivotal moment occurred at the Garfield Monument traffic circle, just  south of the Capitol, where Carey brought her car to a stop but U.S. Capitol  police officers and uniformed Secret Service agents inexplicably failed to use  their squad cars to surround her and bring the chase to an end.

Instead, about a half-dozen officers on foot surrounded her with their guns  drawn. Carey apparently panicked again and drove off through an opening between  the officers. But the police then violated what is standard procedure for most  major police departments and fired upon her in a crowded public space.

Police said Carey was mortally wounded by those shots. Although she had the  strength to drive away, the chase would come to an end a few blocks away when  her car careened out of control at a guard shack, about one block from the  Capitol. Officers removed Carey’s child from her car, unhurt. Carey was  pronounced dead at the hospital.

Troops arrive near where Carey was killed. WND photo  by Garth Kant.

The media initially reported police suspected Carey to be a terrorist threat.  That turned out to be untrue. Then the media reported she was mentally unstable.  When that also turned out to be untrue, the media had run out of pat answers and  lost interest, never bothering to really ask why the incident happened and  investigate the background of Miriam Carey.

Legal and civil liberties experts told  WND they have a word for what happened to her: Murder.

In an exclusive interview with WND, Miriam Carey’s sister, Valarie, a retired  New York City police sergeant, spoke candidly and movingly about the sister she  knew.

Read Valarie Carey’s personal plea: Seeking  justice for my sister

Her attorney, Eric Sanders, also a former NYPD officer, accompanied her.  Tired of waiting for an official explanation of what happened, Sanders informed  WND on Jan. 31, that the Carey family has filed a $75  million lawsuit against the U.S. government. As WND  has also reported, the mainstream media has ignored the lawsuit, too.

Miriam the person

“Miriam loved life, and she loved her family. She was a very loving and  caring person. But she was also very goal-oriented and optimistic,” Valarie  reflected somberly, while walking the chase route on a clear but chilly winter’s  day.

Miriam’s daughter was the apple of her eye, said the mournful sister, adding,  “It was a blessing to have a new niece, and Miriam was really happy to be a new  mother.”

With a broad smile, Valarie described her sister as having a zest for life  and learning, a passion for travel and a love of family and friends.

Pausing to fight back the tears, the soft-spoken sister said, “It just hurts  to know that she will not be able to continue her journey.”

Miriam, Valarie and Amy Carey

When asked if there was ever any sibling rivalry, Valarie smiled and even  laughed.

“Yes, we were sisters. You know, your little sister is wearing your clothes  sometimes. Then there were the academics, you know, things like that,” said the  big sister, calling Miriam an excellent student.

Valarie could never imagine any reason a police department could have  suspected Miriam of any criminal activity.

“My sister was not a criminal. My sister was a law-abiding citizen and she  didn’t commit any crimes while she was in the District of Columbia,” insisted  the former police sergeant.

Amy, Valarie and Miriam Carey

As for the media’s speculation on Miriam’s mental state, Sanders said, “We  don’t know of any history of mental illness or drug use, and there’s no  objective data to support the idea that there was any mental condition. What it  boils down to is that you have a young woman in the District of Columbia and she  was killed. That’s the only thing we know.”

Sanders said none of that speculation was even relevant and that the only  thing that mattered was that “police were not justified in discharging their  weapons. So, for us it’s a non-issue.”

He had met Miriam a few years ago and described her to WND as vivacious and  upbeat, adding, “She was someone you would trust your life. That’s why they’re  so confused about what happened here. No one knows.”

Miriam’s dreams

“She had aspirations of teaching others who were interested in the dental  field. She seemed to have a passion for it. She expressed that she was  contemplating going back to school and becoming a dentist herself,” Valarie  said.

As part of her work, Miriam operated a referral business in which she would  connect other dental hygienists to jobs, a task she enjoyed.

Miriam Carey

Relishing a chance to laugh while remembering her sister, Valarie chuckled at  the memory of being “the patient” when Miriam was training to become a dental  hygienist.

Valarie bragged about her sister’s skills, stating she even trusted her  sister enough to be a real patient.

“I had confidence in her. I knew that she was going to be able to handle the  tasks, and I was more than happy to assist her in obtaining her goals,” Valarie  said.

She said Miriam’s dreams fit closely with the profile of the Carey family as  people who take pride and pleasure in helping others.

“With me being a civil servant and my other sister, Amy, being a registered  nurse and my mother also in the health profession … that’s something I think we  kind of got from our mom,” Valarie said.

Valarie remembers long conversations with her sister, and she marveled at  Miriam’s knowledge on such a wide variety of interests.

“We talked about so many different things, like fashion. My sister was very  stylish. And she just enjoyed life, and just her activities. We talked about  what we were going to do on the weekends, getting together,” Valarie said.

Miriam also had a talent for making people feel good and for enjoying their  company.

“She was good at bringing together friends and family. She was good at making  people laugh. She was good at debating different topics and really good at  keeping family relationships active and positive. She was a bridge to bring  people together,” Valarie said with pride.

Carey sisters celebrate mother’s 60th  birthday

Fighting back tears, Valarie confided, “That’s why we were just looking  forward to spending more time together as a family, but now we’re not going to  be able to do that. This has just shattered our lives. It shattered our family.  It was so unexpected, so unjust, so unfair, so untimely.”

“She’s not going to be here to celebrate holidays; she’s not going to be here  for birthdays. She’s not going to be here for her daughter. There’s a big empty  spot in my life right now,” Valarie said.

Valarie again fought back the urge to cry when she talked about how difficult  it was to get through the recent holiday season.

“Yes, very rough, for my mom, for us. It was rough. We were looking forward  to Thanksgiving at my house and, you know, she was notably missed.”

Amy, Valarie and Miriam Carey

Valarie also recalled happier times, such as the family vacation to Niagara  Falls. But that memory, like all other memories of Miriam, has become  bittersweet.

“I think what I’ll miss most is just having her there. To be able to have her  call me when she has a problem. These are things that you take for granted. It’s  not natural for a 34-year-old who didn’t have any medical problems to just cease  to exist. That’s not something you foresee. That’s not something that you think  about,” Valarie said.

For a moment, Valarie sat quietly and reflected upon her family’s anguish  about what happened to her sister. She admits that she will never understand why  Miriam was killed on that October morning.

“My sister was a law-abiding citizen, so she wasn’t involved in any  activities that made me worry her as if her safety was going to be in harm’s  way. It’s one of the reasons why this whole thing makes no sense at all,”  Valarie said.

Where’s the outrage?

Sanders wondered aloud about the lack of outrage over the death of someone so  normal, she easily could have been anyone’s relative or neighbor.

Miriam and Valarie Carey

“She was a law-abiding citizen, so it’s unfortunate there aren’t more people  who are upset about this because Miriam could be anyone. She was a sister and a  daughter. She was a mother. She could be anyone and that’s why this issue should  be on everyone’s mind. This could have been your sister, your daughter. Everyone  makes mistakes, but she didn’t have to die,” Sanders said.

The attorney believes the initial media coverage is one reason there is so  little public interest.

“I think what happened is that first she was portrayed as a woman with a gun.  That was inaccurate. Then it was a crazy person driving around. Of course, we  don’t value crazy people in this world. So we can discard them. She didn’t mean  anything, and that’s how it’s been portrayed so far,” Sanders said.

Sanders zeroes on the silence from the White House over this issue.

“The president didn’t even comment on it. We’re not asking him to make any  particular comment like it’s unjustified. But at least state that there was a U.  S. citizen who was killed in the capital. I think that’s something that should  garner some attention,” Sanders said.

CREDIT TO:  Michael Carl / WND.COM




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