WASHINGTON – For President Obama’s Justice Department, it’s apparently a blatant case of do what we say, not what we do.
The Department of Justice, or DOJ, issued a 161-page report on Friday charging the Chicago Police Department with numerous incidents of unjustified and excessive violence.
But the infractions cited read like a list of exactly the actions taken by federal officers who shot an unarmed woman in the back, killing her in the shadow of the Capitol.
The DOJ not only refused to press charges against the federal officers involved, it engaged in what legal experts have called a lengthy and extensive cover-up intended to conceal the facts of the case.
Those facts did come to light, but only after WND sued the DOJ to obtain the information. WND has published more than 40 investigative articles on the Carey killing, extensively documenting the DOJ cover-up.
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.”
On Oct. 3, 2013, Secret Service and Capitol Police officers chased and killed 34-year-old Miriam Carey after she drove up to a White House guard post apparently by mistake, because she then immediately made a U-turn to leave.
Federal officers riddled her car with bullets, shooting 26 times, barely missing Carey’s one-year-old daughter, who was strapped into the backseat.
After reviewing the accusations against the Chicago police, Carey family attorney Eric Sanders told WND, “Frankly, as managed under outgoing President Barack Obama, Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, these DOJ findings are disingenuous, to say the least.”
Sanders, a former NYPD officer himself, saw a clear double standard.
“Obviously,” he observed, “only when it’s politically palatable, do President Obama and the DOJ have the courage to openly criticize unlawful police encounters.”
Sanders said the family’s decision to peacefully challenge the legality of Carey’s shooting through a deliberative process and not engage in civil unrest only resulted in “lip service” from the DOJ.
Considering Carey’s fate, Sanders found the DOJ’s list of accusations against Chicago police more than ironic.
The DOJ report detailed examples of what it claimed was excessive force by Chicago police, including:
- Shooting a fleeing, unarmed suspect in the back
- Shooting at fleeing suspects who presented no immediate threat
- Shooting at vehicles without justification
- Using force to retaliate against and punish people
- Using excessive force against juveniles
- Providing insufficient training and accountability procedures
WND asked Sanders to compare and contrast these findings with the Carey case.
Shooting a fleeing, unarmed suspect in the back
“Since Miriam Carey violated no laws, the use of force against her is legally unjustified,” asserted the attorney and former police officer.
Sanders expressed amazement that the “so-called investigation” into the shooting of Carey closed within a just few short months, “although there were obvious violations of her civil rights.”
“Unlike other highly questionable police encounters,” he continued, “President Obama never commented on her shooting or direct Attorney Generals Holder and Lynch to openly disclose to the Carey family and the public the facts of the so-called investigation.”
Shooting at fleeing suspects who presented no immediate threat
“The United States Secret Service Uniform Division and United States Capitol Police officers shot at Miriam Carey, in clear violation of established policies, even though she posed no immediate threat. Yet, the DOJ cleared and indemnified these officers,” said Sanders.
WND has extensively documented how those agencies violated their own policies.
Shooting at vehicles without justification
“Again,” recounted the attorney, “the United States Secret Service Uniform Division and United States Capitol Police officers shot at Miriam Carey, who was driving a motor vehicle on public streets with a toddler in the District of Columbia, [and they shot] in clear violation of established policies, yet the DOJ cleared and indemnified these officers.”
Using force to retaliate against and punish people
“These officers from the United States Secret Service Uniform Division exercised the ultimate retaliation for ‘failing to follow their orders,’ death,” grimly charged Sanders.
“The United States Capitol Police officers supported the retaliation by failing to ensure there was a legal basis to engage in unlawful contact with Carey,” he continued.
Using excessive force against juveniles
“The officers who shot at Miriam, who was driving a motor vehicle on public streets with a toddler in the District of Columbia, committed willful and unlawful conduct endangering the life of the minor child who violated no laws,” charged Sanders.
Providing insufficient training and accountability procedures
“There is more than ample evidence including congressional testimony establishing both the United States Secret Service Uniform Division and United States Capitol were insufficiently trained and there were no accountability structures in place to protect the public during police encounters,” said Sanders.
He added, despite this knowledge prior to, and after, the shooting of Carey, neither President Obama, Attorney Generals Holder and Lynch nor Congress called for justice.
Commenting on the Chicago police report, Attorney General Lynch had said, “The resulting deficit in trust and accountability is not just bad for residents – it’s also bad for dedicated police officers trying to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
Sanders countered, “Unfortunately, Attorney General Lynch’s comments ring of political pandering instead of ensuring the DOJ would engage in an objective deliberative process to protect citizens from unlawful police encounters.”
“However,” he added, “we are hopeful with the newly empaneled Congress, the upcoming appointment of the new attorney general and swearing in of President-elect Donald Trump, the Carey family and the public will finally receive some justice.”
First Amendment scholar Nat Hentoff, who passed away on Jan. 7, took a keen interest in the Carey case, followed it closely and saw a clear violation of her civil rights.
The famed civil libertarian said the evidence was so strong that authorities recklessly killed Carey that the officers involved and their superiors must be held to account for her death for the sake of the country.
“This is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder,” he had said.