Officers from the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police, who were involved in the fatal shooting of Miriam Carey in October, will not face criminal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said Thursday.
Prosecutors said that there is “insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or local charges" against the officers involved in the shooting. Carey’s family reportedly condemned the decision, which they said implied her death was justified. Officers fired at Carey, who rammed her black Infiniti luxury sedan into a barricade near the White House, and led police on a high-speed car chase toward the U.S. Capitol. She was reportedly shot and killed after ignoring repeated warnings to stop.
"After a thorough review of all the evidence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers who were involved in the shooting used excessive force or possessed the requisite criminal intent at the time of the events," the statement read.
The release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Thursday also stated that more than 60 witnesses were interviewed during the nine-month long investigation and a "careful review of all crime scene evidence, ballistics reports, scene and traffic video footage, photographs, the autopsy report, scene and other evidence" was completed before making the decision.
An attorney for Carey’s family had reportedly filed a lawsuit against the authorities, after her death, seeking $75 million for Carey’s estate, a part of which would benefit her child, who was in the vehicle with her at the time of the incident, and was unharmed.
“The United States Attorney’s legal position has not changed the Carey family’s legal position,” a statement from Eric Sanders, the family’s lawyer, reportedly said. “Again, after an exhaustive review of all publicly available data, the Carey Family has concluded the shooting of Miriam Iris Carey was 'NOT JUSTIFIED.'"
Prosecutors noted that the incident, which led to the U.S. Capitol being locked down for a brief period at the time, took only seven minutes and included attempted breaches by Carey at the White House and Capitol complex, and that police officials opened fire twice on Carey’s car.
Carey drove into "a well-marked, restricted White House checkpoint at 15th and E Streets NW, without authorization and without stopping," officials said, in the statement.
The officials recounted that Carey drove into Garfield Circle, one of two traffic circles in front of the U.S. Capitol, “going against the flow of traffic, almost hitting another vehicle head-on." She then reportedly “turned her vehicle towards the permanently-affixed black barriers that block vehicular traffic on the pedestrian walkway that leads to the steps of the U.S. Capitol."
Officials said that, in the final confrontation, the two officers fired nine rounds each, hitting the 34-year-old woman from Connecticut five times.
Officials also said that Carey was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and no weapons were recovered from her vehicle. But, reports had claimed at the time that she had suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth to her daughter, and had been hospitalized for the psychological condition.
“Now that the criminal inquiry has concluded, the Carey Family will continue with its fight for Miriam’s and her minor child EF’s rights,” the family’s attorney reportedly said in the statement, after the findings were released Thursday.