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Monday, October 7, 2013

Gunfire on Capitol Hill

Monday:  Two sisters of Miriam Carey continue to charge (in TV appearances today) that the shooting that ended the tragedy was not justified, question police training and clam that police broke their own rules.  

Friday:    Tonight the NYT with new piece that examines the issues in the shooting in balanced way.  It says one official who was briefed reports that the woman was fired on at the end while still in the car.  This is fresh news, and would change matters, if true, but this is the first such claim I've seen and from odd source (sergeant-at-arms).  One also has to wonder if seven police fired probably dozens of rounds at woman in car why her child was not hit at all.  Others quoted in piece say that most police policies forbid or discourage firing on moving cars, which happened earlier in the showdown.

Wash Post also with new story tonight with other details and arguments.  They have been unable to get police and the Secret Service to release rules on firing at or into vehicles.  Police claim no video of the final confrontation exists,which seems unlikely given the surveillance cameras so much in evidence in that area. The Post adds:  "Officials have not disclosed how or why agents opened fire after Carey crashed to a halt near the security booth."

Carey's family members gave a press conference about 11 pm and eloquently demanded answers on why she was gunned down at the end.  

Witness who saw the ending at close range says police got girl out of car and then the heavy firing began.

My new piece at The Nation on all this.

Josh Marshall at TPM, like so many in media,  approves police shooting woman after she exited car, I guess:  “Given what was known and her behavior, it makes perfect sense to me that the Capitol Police and whatever other federal authorities were in the mix were focusing on threat elimination as their primary goal rather than apprehension.”  New Republic writer Alec MacGillis not so sure.  Unless I've missed, the police have offered NO details on the final shooting--how and where she was shot, by how many, etc.

Most of the (few) questions raised in the media about the shooting have usually been misleading.  Typical is USA Today, which focuses on shooting at the car while it was careening away and not when the woman was out of the car later.  Still,  even in the former case, they did include quote from  Michael Lyman, a former criminal investigator who has studied use-of-force guidelines for police, who said the woman's inability to penetrate barriers around the White House downgraded the situation from a national security concern to an "old-fashioned pursuit." From that point on officers should have tried to use other means to stop the car. "Shooting at a moving vehicle is against all nationally recognized protocols," said Lyman.  The possibility of accidentally striking innocent bystanders is just too high when trying to shoot at a moving car.

Earlier Friday: Media and Congress have hailed the police work yesterday, with nary a word of dissent that I've heard, yet:  1) car got away from first checkpoint at White House   2)  car got away from second barricade on the way to the Capitol  3)  unarmed woman shot in hail of bullets at the end with tiny child in back seat.   This is police work to be venerated and copied? 

UPDATES, most recent at topNYT finally raises what no one on all the TV coveage dared: Whatever she'd done earlier, with "car as weapon," the woman ended up getting out of that car, unarmed, and was shot was several officers.  "What occurred next was not clear. Ms. Carey managed to get out of the car, and was shot by several officers. According to a law enforcement official, she was not armed, and it was not known whether she presented an immediate danger." Actually, seems pretty clear that she presented no "immediate danger" at that point.

Woman suffered from post-partum depression after birth of kid last year, was hospitalized, mother says.   Others agree she had mental problems.  Not political at all, they say.

NY Daily News IDs woman--this has gone wrong in past--and claims she's dental hygenist who once lived in Brooklyn with history of "mental health issues."  Kid is age one.

Fox News reporter in CT just tweeted:  "2 residents in apt complex say they were told by police that suspect may have lived in their apt building. Told to evacuate."  @BeauBermanFoxCT

6:00 presser:  Police officer crashed into barrier.  Refers to "capturing" suspect.  No terrorist link. Child was one-year-old.  Police "rescued" child (after firing several shots point blank at the vehicle).  Chief Cathy Lanier back!  Won't answer questions on suspect. But says suspect dead.  Shooting at two sites.  Won't confirm that woman not armed.   Claims cops acted "heroically."   Secret Service guy also injured.  Reporter throws out wild question about suspect being "Somali," or something. 

As I predicted, CNN now backing off on intentional "ramming" and effort to get on WH grounds, latest report simply halted at barrier, "words" exchanged, then fled.  Amazing that no one on TV that I've seen has uttered one word of criticism of police work.  Imagine if it WAS a terrorist with a bomb who manages to drive off. 

CNN shows dramatic new footage of how incident began--black car surrounded by four or more cops with guns drawn, then pulls out suddenly and we see them shooting and hear seven gun shots.  Car still pulls away, circles and drives off.  Tom Foreman of CNN actually says amazed they didn't fire sooner--when she was apparently unarmed and had young child in back seat, which they should have seen as they were right next to car at start.  Watch here. Or here:

CNN showing tape that shows the car leaving area of White House with police in pursuit--though not, at that time, at very rapid speed. CNN shows small, black child carried away  by cop--at times they fuzz out her face, other times no.

Witness on CNN just now:  Police got to car after crash, opened passenger side door to get woman out, she slammed into reverse and took off, then they opened fire.  Driver did not fire.  CNN reporter just now says confirmed that woman did not have gun. 

Press conference by police.  Incident started near White House.  Chase ensued.  Crashed into barricade near Hill.  "No information that this is related to terrorism and is isolated incident." Won't confirm condition of driver or if child in car.  "No officer shot." So he was hurt in crash.

NBC:  Injured cop likely injured in car crash, not by gunfire.

CNN: A child was in car.   Footage seems to show girl, maybe 3, carried away by cop.  Police did not know that when "use of force" authorized.  Also claim that began with "dispute" outside White House, car backed up and hit official vehicle, then took off.  It seems possible that NOT an attempt to ram way through gate, woman panicked--perhaps she did not have gun and the wounded cop was shot by other cops' gunfire.  Just speculating here.  Some sources say she got out of car at end and fired, but we'll see.

Multiple sources says woman dead--but not NBC. 

ABC "breaking" tweet claims: "Source says female suspect reported dead on scene at U.S. Capitol."  Shot or in "car crash."  Haven't seen confirmed elsewhere. No report on "motivation" either.  Getty photo at left.

Pete Williams:  Car tried to ram through gate to enter White House grounds.  But others say just hit a barrier a block away.

Earlier: AP reports at least one guard injured.  Live footage of victim being loaded on Medivac.   Pete Williams on NBC just said he was told a driver and "black car" seized.  "Started as attempted breach at White House."   Secret Service tailed to Capitol Hill where shots exchanged.  Witnesses heard five or six shots or more.  Watch NBC feed. Copter overhead and then landed on the mall.  Luke Russert told to "shelter in place."  But "not believed to be an active shooter situation."  Russert: "Caused Congress to grind to a halt."  Who would notice?  Politico sent this via email:
U.S. Capitol Police announced on their emergency radio system that there have been reports of gunfire on Capitol Hill.
People in the many Capitol Hill office buildings have been asked to shelter in place, and move away from doors and windows.
“Gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill requiring all occupants in all House Office Buildings to shelter in place,” Capitol Police wrote in an email to all House staff.
“Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, Go Kits and escape hoods; and move to the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows. If you are not in your office, take shelter in the nearest office, check in with your OEC and wait for USCP to clear the incident. No one will be permitted to enter or exit the building until directed by USCP. All staff should monitor the situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.”


Syrbal/Labrys said...

::::sighs::: So, the fun begins. The GOP pundits keep yelling that it is all the fault of the President --- I mean damn those Liberals for wanting to "take away our guns, and give food, medical care, and education instead"!

Cause, isn't that the official hole card of the GOP? So getting to the President MUST be the solution, right?

:::chokes on sarcasm:::

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised that so little factual information is being released (from what I can tell anyway).

So far, it seems the police have shown incompetence in not having locked down her car in the first place when it would have been easy by the looks of it, and then ending up murdering her with extreme prejudice.

I can't help but being cynical and wonder if the authorities are working hard to get their stories straight, ofc it is to be expected that any investigation is on its way already and that some efforts have been made to make sure the invividuals involved can't so easily make up any story they perhaps might be inclined to.

I would expect video off police cars to be able to show what happened around the woman when she was killed. Don't know if those cars had any cameras in them though.

Anonymous said...

Twitter tells of a witness seeing the woman when she was shot:
(CNN interview)

Somehow, I would rather see a video than relying on trusting the witness that says she saw the shooting through a window.

She seem to claim that the police grabbed the baby and then shot the woman.

Nell said...

:: how and where she was shot, by how many, etc. ::

And BY WHOM? The two NY police who shot 3 shots into a crowd in Times Sq last month, wounding two completely random women, are still un-named. In what other situation would perps' identities remain secret while the victims, just living their lives until fired on, are very public?

Reporters for the NYTimes have been asked, politely and specifically, to go after the names, and will only say that they'll wait for an official announcement -- which they know full well will never come. Hell, the Times continued to write stories about the killing of Kimani Gray without naming the officers who shot him -- well after they were known.

This is the climate that fosters killer cops.