(This is Part 3 of a three-part series on revelations in the Carey case made by a Secret Service officer. Read part 1, “Secret Service officer drops bombshell in ‘murdered mom’ case,” and Part 2, “Secret Service officer debunks feds’ alibi for shooting ‘murdered mom.’”)
WASHINGTON – A Secret Service officer said federal agents should never have pursued Miriam Carey, and he explained why he believes they instead chased the unarmed mother, shot her in the back and killed her.
“Yes. I do believe they should have let her go,” Secret Service officer Muhammad Abdul Raheem told WND.
He also expressed his belief that one fateful move touched off a chain of events that caused federal officers to wrongly kill the single mother.
On Oct. 3, 2013, Secret Service and Capitol Police officers pursued and killed Carey after she entered a White House guard post apparently by mistake, then made a U-turn and immediately tried to leave.
Raheem, an officer in the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service for 11 years, has decided to go public and reveal his identity because he felt the killing of Carey by federal officers was unjust.
Raheem recently sat down with WND and a reporter from the Washington Post. He discussed the Carey case for three-and-a-half-hours in a Washington, D.C., office building just a few blocks from the site of another infamous capital cover-up, the Watergate Hotel.
WND has investigated the Carey case in depth since the beginning. The stunning facts and details of the investigation and the Justice Department cover-up are revealed in WND Books’ “Capitol Crime: Washington’s Cover-Up of the Killing of Miriam Carey.”
Long before WND uncovered many of the details indicating an official cover-up, famed civil libertarian Nat Hentoff said, from all of the evidence he had seen in WND’s reports, which he called very thorough and easily corroborated, “[T]his is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder.”
In the first part of this WND series on Raheem’s interview, the Trenton, New Jersey, native explained how the Secret Service covered up what he said was the unjustifiable shooting.
In the second part, the Secret Service officer revealed how officers who shot Carey knew that national security was never at risk and had no valid reason to shoot the unarmed 34-year-old mother in her car, with her one-year-old daughter strapped into the backseat.
In this third part, Raheem described why the deadly chase should never have happened, and why it ultimately did.
In a nutshell, he believes the deadly chain of events was set into motion when an off-duty Secret Service officer, who was passing by, dragged a bike rack in front of Carey as she tried to depart the White House guard post at 15th and E Streets.
As someone who has manned that post, Raheem said guards let people make U-turns all the time without stopping them, because cars frequently make wrong turns into that driveway.
But once the Secret Service patrol units heard a radio report about an officer down, the chase was on.
The confusion stemmed from whether an officer was actually “down.”
What actually happened, according to a witness cited in the official police report obtained by WND, was Carey tried to drive around the bike rack. But the officer dragged it back in front of her car, with him standing behind it.
Even the description in the official police report of Carey’s encounter with the off-duty officer confirmed she did not hit the officer; she hit the gate, which “spun around” and hit him.
Under the document titled Metropolitan Police Department Incident Summary Sheet, the synopsis reads: “The United States Secret Service police officer attempted to block the vehicle with a bicycle rack; however, the vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack, which spun around knocking the officer over.”
Additionally, the police affidavit did not state that Carey was accused of assaulting an officer, merely that her “vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack, knocking the officer to the ground.”
If the dragging of the bike gate was the key element that touched off the events leading to the killing of Carey, it is all the more tragic because it was apparently so unnecessary.
That’s because, while it is illegal to try to enter the White House grounds without authorization, it is not illegal to try to leave the White House grounds for any reason, unless one is suspected of a crime.
And Carey had committed no crime. All she did was try to leave.
Raheem gave WND his reasons for believing officers should have just let Carey leave and not chased her.
“Number one, she didn’t break the law,” he began. “Two, she didn’t hit or run over anybody. You see, the thing with the bike rack, that’s what, for me, changes the whole dynamic of this thing.”
That’s because, he said, drivers make wrong turn into that post “all the time. People do that and you let them go, all the time.”
“You speak to them and ask, ‘Where are you going?’ You might direct them to parking.” Or, if they are lost, give them directions.
“They’re usually scared, and you tell them where to go.”
In the case of Carey, “If somebody just keeps going, they don’t roll down the window if they’re going out. I mean, what am I going to do? I’m going to tell them to leave anyway.”
“To me, the bike rack was the whole turning point,” Raheem asserted. “If he hadn’t pulled that bike rack out, it was another day at the White House.”
What would have happened if he’d never dragged that gate in front of her?
“Nothing. Nothing at all. Wherever she was going, that’s where she would’ve gone,” he said, adding, “If he didn’t pull that bike rack, I seriously believe that nothing would’ve happened that day at the White House.”
WND asked why he thought the off-duty guard intervened in an incident that should have been routine.
“Just trying to be a hero. Get involved in something, you know, some guys are like that. Some guys just constantly want to be involved in something,” said Raheem.
“I don’t know if he thought he was helping his fellow officers,” he mused. “I don’t know if he was responding to yelling. There could’ve been yelling, like, ‘Hey stop! Where are you going?’ Which would be very understandable. But, again, even with that, with all the yelling, if they went up to the car, all she would have done was left.”
Raheem believed one thing led to another, and, ultimately, officers pursued Carey with such ferocity because of the bike rack incident.
“He wasn’t successful in whatever he was trying to do. He couldn’t box her in and she kept going. And he stumbled or got knocked over,” he said. “Whatever happened after that, emotions. Emotions. Emotions. After seeing that, I believe that people got emotional and went in hot pursuit.”
What happened after the bike rack encounter was key. That’s when officers at the guard post reported the incident and it went out over the radio airwaves.
“I don’t know exactly what was said,” Raheem told WND. “But, it was clear that he got knocked down, that he was on the ground. He tried to block the car.”
WND asked what he thought was said on the radio.
“I believe they went over the air and said that an officer was knocked down. Or she knocked them down.
“When that info was relayed,” he continued, “I’m sure they didn’t say she hit a pedestrian. They would have said she hit that officer. Everyone on duty knows him.
“Now he’s on the ground. And remember, he’s an officer. They know him. He’s not just some guy off the street. An officer got hit.”
So, it didn’t matter how the radio call was worded, it was the fact that it was an officer involved?
That, he believed, triggered the patrol units to pursue Carey. And that’s when everything went terribly wrong, ending with her death.
Raheem had described a schism within the uniformed division of the Secret Service. He said he and his fellow colleagues stationed at the guard posts generally have good relations with the public.
But Raheem said the officers in the patrol units, in cars and on bikes, have a different mentality. He described them as actually looking for trouble.
“Often times their supervisors tell them to be proactive. ‘Ride around on your bike, or in your cruiser, and look for things.’ There’s a certain kind of guy they like on these units. They are the guys who would do stuff like this, jump out. Talk to homeless people, talk to black people, brown people.”
Raheem said he and his colleagues manning the guard posts deal with the public routinely.
“We’re the ones they want to take pictures with, the ones who give directions. The guys on bikes or in cars, they’re are the ones who do their little police make-work.”
But most of the time, Raheem said, they are bored, waiting for something to happen.
“Those guys respond to a lot of things that never get real. That never hits the fan. So, they do a lot of things that look good, like they are in a movie, doing all that stuff.”
Before he decided to reveal his identity for the public record, Raheem had previously told WND, “From my understanding, it was the guys in a patrol unit who heard the radio call from the White House. There were other units that joined in.”
He added, “The patrol units are the guys who responded to the call. They are the ones who were at the Capitol. They fired their weapons.”
“A lot of those units at the White House, they just jump out and do their little macho thing. It looks good. They like to give off that impression. Like tough guys. But they’re not tough guys,” Raheem said in the most recent interview.
Raheem said his opinion that there should have not been a chase first place was shared by a number of colleagues.
“Why would you do that? What was that for? What was the point? To us, it was just stupid.”
Did he think that if different people had been on patrol at the time, the outcome of the Carey incident would have been different?
“Well, at the White House, that’s just how it is,” he replied contemplatively. “That’s just how they respond to things, especially with racial profiling. Different officers might not have responded, and nothing would’ve happened. It would have been just another day at the White House.”
What if he had responded?
“If I was in that vehicle, I would not have gone chasing somebody because they didn’t stop at the White House. A lot of people would not have. Certain guys will. And these are the kind of guys that they like out there.”
He did not have a kind assessment of those guys.
“Most people just think they’re clowns. Seriously, most guys in the agency just think they’re clowns.”
Or their bosses.
“And those guys typically have supervisors who are just like them.”
WND asked how that was supposed to enhance the security of the White House. What was the point of so aggressively patrolling the perimeter?
“I think it’s a self-esteem issue,” Raheem speculated. “A lot of guys, they want the real stuff, but they don’t want the real stuff. So they try to make the real stuff. You know, they try to create their own little police world. So instead of getting involved in some real police work, going to D.C. or nearby counties, they take this little White House environment and make their little thing where they can go out like tough guys. It’s a self-esteem issue.”
So, there’s a gung-ho attitude?
“Definitely. Definitely! For those units. A lot of the people inside just want to come in and do their work. Speak to people respectfully and go home. But those units …”
Raheem may have spoken his mind so freely because he may not be returning to the force.
He has been on administrative leave since June 2015, while the Secret Service sorts out an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, claim he filed against the agency for what he considers harassment.
Carey family attorney and former NYPD officer Eric Sanders believes it is no coincidence that the agency put Raheem on leave after he quietly shared his criticism of the Carey killing with colleagues.
“Remember, it (the EEOC claim) was only a couple months after the Carey incident,” Sanders told WND. “I’m saying they’re connected because, as much as you think you’re quiet about how you feel about things, everyone talks. It was only a couple of months after he said the shooting wasn’t justified.”
“Then all of these other things started to happen. That’s retaliation.”
Raheem said he agreed, “definitely.”