A black woman whose sister was shot and killed by US Capitol police in Washington eight years ago has said the “restraint” shown by the same agency to Donald Trump’s insurrectionist mob, compared with actions in Black Lives Matter protests last summer, is “hurtful”.
Valarie Carey criticised officers for what she said was an inability to deal with black people, and said some police were either racist or dealing with “culture shock”.
“To see the disparity in the treatment of individuals … who have no respect for our nation’s Capitol, vandalizing and actually committing assaults and they get to walk away unharmed and not even arrested, it’s hurtful,” Carey told CNN.
“They were treated with entitlement and it’s ridiculous. We all know had it been a black person or brown person that situation would have been different.”
Carey’s sister Miriam, 34, a dental hygienist from Connecticut, was killed in October 2013 after her car collided with a security barrier and struck an off-duty Secret Service officer at the White House.
We all know had it been a black person or brown person that situation would have been different
She drove off, pursued by several marked police vehicles, and was shot when she attempted to drive away from officers who surrounded her car with guns drawn. Her 18-month-old daughter was found in the back seat, unharmed.
Valarie Carey said the police response to last week’s Capitol riot, in which five people died including an officer, reflected a systemic issue about race in law enforcement.
Washington police arrested 80 people around the Capitol riot, the majority for curfew violations. Video imagery of police assisting members of the mob down steps, opening gates to allow access to the Capitol or taking selfies have caused outrage. Forces around the US have said they are investigating whether off-duty members participated in the riot.