Federal law enforcement officers fired multiple shots at two locations in Washington, D.C., yesterday, killing an apparently unarmed woman who resisted arrest while attempting to drive through security barriers near the White House and the Capitol, the Washington Post reports. A 1-year-old girl in the woman's car was unharmed. The woman was identified as Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Ct. Her mother said she had post-partum depression.
The dramatic chase cast a spotlight on the U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Secret Service, which have faced increased scrutiny and demands since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Both have suffered budget cuts as part of the mandatory spending reductions known as the sequester and have worked without pay for long hours during the government shutdown. Law enforcement officials dismissed suggestions that the officers overreacted to a driver who was lost or had panicked. W. Ralph Basham, Secret Service chief under President George W. Bush, said officers should not be second-guessed for shooting to stop the driver. “You can't get in this person's mind to determine what she was trying to do,” he said.