In Washington DC, local police officers are prohibited from shooting at or from a moving vehicle. Yet Miriam Carey was driving her car when federal police issued a fatal shot.
Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist, sped down the streets of DC on October 3, and tried to ram through White-House barriers. Federal officers shot through her car window, killing her before they could ask any questions.
According to General Order 901.07, “No member of the Metropolitan Police Department shall discharge his/her firearm at or from a moving vehicle unless deadly force is being used against the officer or another person. For purposes of this order, a moving vehicle is not considered deadly force.”
The officers who killed Carey were not members of the Metropolitan Police Department, so technically this law would not apply to them. However, it does show that the shooters acted contrary to local protocol, and that regulation favors alternative methods. It is unclear why the officers chose to shoot at Miriam instead of stopping her by blowing out her tires. Some say they may have feared explosives.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier did not mention the rule, but rather applauded the officers for their actions. “They did exactly what they were supposed to do, and they stopped a suspect from breaching security perimeters in a vehicle at both locations,” he said.
Miriam’s mother, Idella Carey, claimed that her daughter had been depressed, but was never violent. She told reporters that Miriam had recently been hospitalized for post-partum depression.
According to other reports, Miriam had a history of mental illness and thought that the president was monitoring her in her Connecticut home because he wanted to air her life on television.
Carey’s boyfriend had reportedly called the police twice due to her delusional behavior, afraid that she was putting her baby daughter at risk.
Carey was unarmed the day she attempted to drive her car into the White House, and her baby was sitting in the backseat.