No charges after fatal shooting near Capitol

 

The Justice Department will not file charges against officers who shot and killed a woman involved in a car chase last October near the Capitol. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said Thursday evidence was lacking to prove the officers used excessive force in the killing of Miriam Carey, who took police on a seven-minute chase from the White House to the Capitol over barriers and sidewalks with her young child in the car. 

ADVERTISEMENT
U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Secret Service officers fired a total of 17 rounds at Carey at two separate locations. She was hit five times in her neck and torso; the child was not seriously injured.

"After a careful, thorough and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors have found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these officers used excessive force under the circumstances known to them at the time or that they acted with the requisite criminal intent," the attorney's office announced in a statement. 

The attorney's office pointed out the heavy burden to prove the charges. The office would have to prove officers used excessive force and that they willfully intended to break the law. 

"Accident, mistake, fear, negligence and bad judgment do not establish such a criminal violation," according to the attorney's office. 

The review was based on more than 60 interviews and all crime scene evidence. The Justice Department vowed to remain committed to investigating charges of excessive use of police force. 

Along with the announcement, the attorney's office included a detailed minute-by-minute breakdown of the chase and gunfire.

An autopsy earlier this year showed that Carey was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Justice Department did not offer a motive for Carey. 

The pursuit started at a White House checkpoint where she knocked over an off-duty Secret Service agent who attempted to block her from a restricted area. She then sped to Garfield Circle, just west of the Capitol.

After ramming a police vehicle, she drove onto a sidewalk near the Capitol lawn. Police fired eight rounds at her, but the attorney's office said it does not believe any of those shots hit her. 

She then drove to the east side of the Capitol near the Hart Senate Office Building, where she hopped a median and hit another police car. Officers fired another nine shots and killed her, and her car crashed into a police kiosk. 

"After ignoring multiple commands given by officers who were running towards her vehicle with guns drawn, Ms. Carey revved her engine and then reversed her vehicle and drove directly at a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was approaching Ms. Carey’s vehicle from behind," according to the attorney's office. 

No shots were fired after officers approached the crash as they realized a young child was also in the car.