‘It’s Hurtful’: Sister of Woman Killed By Capitol Police in 2013 Frustrated By Double Standard In Law Enforcement’s Treatment of Pro-Trump Rioters versus Her Sister
The sister of a woman who was killed by U.S. Capitol Police Department officers in 2013 has spoken out expressing frustration about the treatment of her younger sister by law enforcement when compared against the handling of rioters who participated in last week’s insurrection.
Valarie Carey’s younger sister Miriam Carey was killed in October 2013 by Capitol police and Secret Service officers.
Carey said the restraint demonstrated by Capitol police is starkly contrasted by officers’ treatment of Miriam, a 34-year-old dental hygienist at the time she was killed.
“To see the disparity in the treatment of individuals … who have no respect for our nation’s Capitol, vandalizing and actually committing assaults and they get to walk away unharmed and not even arrested,” Carey said. “It’s hurtful.”
The younger Carey was killed on Oct. 3, 2013 after a high-speed chase that began when she drove up to a White House checkpoint. After being approached by Secret Service officers, Carey made a three-point turn and hit an officer who was trying to put a barricade in the road to block her path.
The car fled in the direction of the Capitol until it was then stopped by security at Garfield Circle. After putting the car in reverse, Carey struck a police officer, then drove away while officers fired at her.
She collided with a barrier just yards away, and died after being shot five times. Her 1-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, was unharmed. Officers fired at the vehicle more than 26 times. No officers were charged with any crime. The Carey family maintains that Miriam had just made a wrong turn.
“They were handled with care. With consideration, as if they were individuals or people. They didn’t see my sister as a person. I don’t even believe they would’ve shot a dog in the street that way,” said Carey.
Carey said the riot at the Capitol was far worse than her sister’s vehicle chase. In Wednesday’s attack, pro-Trump rioters descended on the Capitol building as Congress was in the process of certifying the presidential and vice presidential election results. The attackers overcame barriers, smashed windows, and breached the Capitol building in the melee that resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer.
“My sister didn’t breach security, she made a U-turn and she was ultimately gunned down,” Carey said. “There shouldn’t have been a chase to begin with.”
Some have pointed out the double standard between the treatment of the rioters during the attack and police handling of the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in Washington over the summer.
“This summer’s Black Lives matter protests were overwhelmingly peaceful movements…And yet, in city after city, day after day we saw peaceful protesters met with brute force,” former first lady Michelle Obama wrote in a statement.
“Yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation. They’ve just got to look the right way,” Obama wrote.
Capitol police have faced criticism for their failed response to the riot. The department’s chief has resigned, two officers have been suspended, and at least 10 more officers are under investigation over their actions during the insurrection. One officer took a selfie with a member of the mob, and another wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and apparently directed rioters into the building.
Carey said she hopes the disparities in police treatment spotlighted by the riot will be addressed this year amid the renewed awareness and attention.
“I am praying that 2021 is the year we get some sort of resolution and get justice for my sister who is no longer here,” she said.