US & Canada

No police charges in Capitol car chase shooting

Capitol Hill police officers looked at a car driven by Miriam Carey on 3 October 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Miriam Carey's one-year-old daughter was in the car at the time of the shooting

Police officers who fatally shot an unarmed woman after she led them on a car chase through Washington DC will not face criminal charges.

The Secret Service and Capitol Police employees did not use excessive force in the death of Miriam Carey, 34, the justice department found.

Carey's one-year-old daughter was in the car at the time but uninjured.

The 3 October incident prompted panicked lockdowns at the Supreme Court and US Capitol buildings.

"Accident, mistake, fear, negligence and bad judgment do not establish such a criminal violation," the office of US Attorney Ron Machen wrote in a statement.


Authorities conducted a months-long investigation into the incident, which saw Carey drive from Stamford, Connecticut, to the nation's capital.

The former dental hygienist drove toward a White House checkpoint and disregarded orders to stop.

She struck an officer with her car, leading authorities on a chase toward the Capitol building and ramming a police car with her automobile.

Carey was later shot while attempting to reverse her car and drive toward a Capitol Police officer. Her daughter was seated in the backseat at the time.

Prior to her death, Carey was diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis, and told Connecticut police officers US President Barack Obama had set up a camera to monitor her.

But she was not found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the car chase .

A lawyer for the Carey family wrote in a statement following the justice department decision that it would not affect a wrongful death lawsuit pending against the Secret Service and Capitol Police.

More on this story