On Oct. 3, Miriam Carey was leading the police in Washington D.C. in a deadly chase. She led them from the White House to the Capitol Building where she attempted to drive her car into the large fence security barriers. She was then shot to death by police.
Questions are arising about whether or not this was a terrorist attempt, if it was related to the current state of the government and if deadly force was reasonable against Carey.
The whole incident does seem very odd, as she drove her car into the fence of the Capitol right when there was high political tension occurring as Congress was debating about the government shutdown. Her death caused the Capitol to go into lockdown.
Her death and the government shutdown just seem like a coincidence, though in statements made by her family, it was reported that Carey suffered from post-partum depression and wasn’t thinking clearly. There’s no reason to assume that she was a terrorist.
The other moral issue of this incident is the use of deadly force. I think it was completely reasonable in this case for the police to open fire on her. It has been reported that she had no gun, but she was in her car and was heading directly toward an important national building. The car itself was enough of a deadly weapon; after all, two policemen were injured as a result of her car chase.
The whole debate over deadly force has even led to the two Capitol police officers being pulled off duty “pending the outcome of investigation.” What do people think they did? They saw a crazy driver coming to a national building with many important people like senators and congressmen. Were they supposed to let her go? How else could the policemen subdue her? The cops had her surrounded before the end and she refused to stop and surrender. Instead, she continued the chase. These cops had no choice but to open fire.
It is terrible that the chase led to her death, but if you are attacking a government building, driving your car into fences, it really does not seem that you are up to any good. However, I can empathize for this woman. She was going through depression, but there is fine line between feeling sorry for someone because of their illness versus feeling sorry for them because of their irresponsible actions. She had the potential to harm other human life. Unfortunately to prevent other lives from being taken, her life was taken. The policemen were justified in their actions. All they were trying to do was protect the safety of others.