Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit on behalf of WND to Obtain Documents Regarding Fatal 2013 Shooting of Miriam Carey Outside U.S. Capitol
Alleges Department of Justice Causing “Irreparable Harm” by Stonewalling
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of WorldNetDaily.com to obtain the release of documents regarding the October 2013 shooting of Miriam Carey by Secret Service agents and U.S. Capitol Police officers (WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:15-cv-00549)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to comply with WND’s August 4, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking release of the following documents:
[A]ll materials used in the investigation by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, into the October, 3, 2013 fatal shooting of Miriam Carey by uniformed agents of the U.S. Secret Service and officers of the U.S. Capitol Police Department.” Plaintiff also requested “the final report and findings of that investigation.”
The October 2013 shooting of Carey occurred after she allegedly drove into, and then exited, a secure area near the White House. After driving to the U.S. Capitol, she allegedly drove around police and hit a police vehicle. The police then fired several shots, killing her. Carey’s 13-month-old daughter was with her at the time, though she was unharmed. The questions about the shooting led to an investigation, which concluded with no charges being filed against the officers involved.
The video of the actual shooting has yet to be released by the Obama administration or the Capitol Police.
By letter dated August 22, 2014, the DOJ acknowledged receipt of the request but made no effort to respond with a document production within the legally required 20 days. The lawsuit makes it clear that the DOJ has violated the standard for replying to FOIA requests:
Defendant has failed to provide Plaintiff with requested documents. It has been over eight (8) months since Plaintiff submitted its FOIA request and nearly six (6) months since Defendant acknowledged and accepted as sufficient Plaintiff’s commitment to pay any and all search fees and duplication charges related to its request.
As reported by WND:
WND has reported extensively on perhaps the worst scandal of the Dine era, the deadly shooting of the unarmed suburban mother Miriam Carey by Capitol Police officers and uniformed Secret Service agents after she apparently did little more than mistakenly turn into a White House entry kiosk, then immediately try to leave.
She was chased by officers and shot dead in her car with her infant daughter in the back seat, in the shadow of the nation’s capital on Oct. 3, 2013.
“It’s time for the Justice Department to live up to its name and bring justice, openness and closure to the Miriam Carey tragedy,” said WND Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah. “It’s time to come clean with the American people to ensure no other innocent women are gunned down in the nation’s capital like this for no justifiable reason. If we can’t trust government to hold law enforcement accountable for inexcusable violent behavior that ends in death, then it’s time to clean house in government.”
“Given the Obama Justice Department’s habit of second-guessing police officers in shooting incidents, it is the height of hypocrisy for Eric Holder’s DOJ to violate FOIA law to keep secret details about the controversial shooting of Miriam Carey, who also happens to be black, by federal law enforcement,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president. “The illegal secrecy by the Justice Department has forced our journalist client, WND, to go to federal court to get its simple questions answered.”