Lawmakers Give Capitol Police Benefit of the Doubt in Shooting

Police cordon off the corner of the Contitution Ave and First St after shots fired were reported near 2nd Street NW and Constitution Avenue on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2013. The US Capitol was placed on security lockdown Thursday after shots were fired outside the complex, senators said. 'Shots fired outside the Capitol. We are in temporary lock down,' Senator Claire McCaskill said on Twitter. Police were seen running within the Capitol building and outside as vehicles swarmed to the scene.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
See more stories about...
Elahe Izad
Oct. 9, 2013, 4:47 p.m.

A week after po­lice shot and killed a wo­man who was ra­cing to­ward the Cap­it­ol after try­ing to breach a White House bar­ri­cade, law­makers have been largely si­lent on the in­cid­ent pending the res­ults of an in­vest­ig­a­tion.

“I’m con­cerned when any per­son is shot, armed or un­armed, if it could be handled in some oth­er way,” said Rep. Mar­cia Fudge, D-Ohio. “But we need to see the re­port to de­term­ine if that’s the case. I am hope­ful that the in­vest­ig­a­tion will show the ac­tions that were taken were ne­ces­sary, but un­til such time, as it is, I’m go­ing to err on the side of the Cap­it­ol Po­lice hav­ing done the ap­pro­pri­ate thing.”

Fudge isn’t alone. Con­necti­c­ut law­makers have like­wise shown de­fer­ence to the Cap­it­ol Po­lice, even as the fam­ily mem­bers of the slain wo­man, Miri­am Carey of Stam­ford, have been voicing skep­ti­cism that she was re­spons­ible for the shoot­ing and ask­ing wheth­er po­lice could have re­acted dif­fer­ently.

Sen. Richard Blu­menth­al, D-Conn., praised Cap­it­ol Po­lice in a state­ment while also ex­tend­ing con­dol­ences to Carey’s fam­ily. “An in­vest­ig­a­tion is cer­tainly ap­pro­pri­ate — as is on­go­ing — and I await its fac­tu­al find­ings, along with over­sight and scru­tiny from oth­er sources,” he said.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., whose dis­trict in­cludes Stam­ford, like­wise urged cau­tion. “Ob­vi­ously the death of Ms. Carey was a real tragedy,” he told The Hart­ford Cour­ant. “I ex­pect that a full in­vest­ig­a­tion will be un­der­taken to out all the facts. Un­til that has been com­pleted, people should re­serve judg­ment.”

D.C.’s Met­ro­pol­it­an Po­lice De­part­ment is lead­ing the in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the in­cid­ent, with sup­port from the U.S. Cap­it­ol Po­lice, Secret Ser­vice, and FBI, ac­cord­ing to po­lice of­fi­cials. The Cap­it­ol Po­lice policy on the use of force is not pub­lic in­form­a­tion.

The Cap­it­ol Po­lice of­ficer who had been hos­pit­al­ized after the in­cid­ent has been re­leased, po­lice said, and the of­ficers in­volved in the event “are not in the field” pending the out­come of the in­vest­ig­a­tion.

“I think that mem­bers are re­luct­ant to second-guess people whose job it is to pro­tect them, giv­en the fact that there are a live threats that hap­pen around here all the time,” said Rep. Keith El­lis­on, D-Minn.

Rep. G.K. But­ter­field, D-N.C., said he heard some in­form­al ques­tions among law­makers in the days fol­low­ing the in­cid­ent, “but now all eyes are fo­cused on the shut­down.”

“I know now it’s a pretty dan­ger­ous thing for someone to be speed­ing from the White House to the U.S. Cap­it­ol at 80 miles per hour, run­ning stoplights, and you don’t know if it’s a ter­ror­ist or a de­ranged in­di­vidu­al or what,” But­ter­field said. “The ques­tion most people are ask­ing is why they didn’t shoot the tires out or re­sort to some oth­er means of dis­abling the vehicle. But we’ve got to get the facts.”

What We're Following See More »
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Variety Looks at How Michelle Obama Has Leveraged Pop Culture
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

Source:
RUSSIAN HACKERS LIKELY BEHIND THE ATTACKS
New York Times, Other News Organizations Hacked
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The FBI and other US security agencies are currently investigating a series of computer breaches found within The New York Times and other news organizations. It is expected that the hacks were carried out by individuals working for Russian intelligence. It is believed that these cyber attacks are part of a "broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said."

Source:
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS PETITIONED
NLRB: Graduate Students Can Unionize
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Columbia University graduate students, granting them the legal right to unionize. The petition was brought by a number of teaching assistants enrolled in graduate school. This decision could pave the way for thousands of new union members, depending on if students at other schools nationwide wish to join unions. A number of universities spoke out in opposition to this possibility, saying injecting collective bargaining into graduate school could create a host of difficulties.

Source:
DIFFERENT KIND OF CONVENTION BOUNCE
Cruz Approval Ratings Underwater
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Following Texas Senator Ted Cruz's controversial decision not to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, instead telling voters to "vote (their) conscience," a new poll out today shows that his approval ratings have sunk. The poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 39 percent of Texans approve of the job Cruz is doing, compared to 48 percent who don't approve. Additionally, despite winning the GOP primary in the state, the poll found that if the primary was held today, Trump would garner 52 percent of support to just 38 percent for Cruz.

Source:
×