Yes. Let's just phrase it this way, when you plow into a Secret Service checkpoint, then run over an agent and cause a high speed Police pursuit, you are definitely a threat to the lives of officers and the public.
It's easy in hindsight to say "Well she was a troubled dental assistant with a kid in the back!"
Thing is, we don't evaluate whether or not a shooting is justified by hindsight. It's based off of what the officer/s perceived at the time. At the time, the only knew someone had apparently tried to breach the white house, had tried to kill an officer, and was endangering the lives of the public. At that point, they had to neutralize the threat by whatever means it took.
Anything less would have been a failure of their duty.
So it's sad, but it's not unjustifiable in any way.
Honestly I'd love to see a logical cohesive argument that says the shooting was unjustified. People keep throwing these phrases around like "She had mental problems, such as postpartum depression!" Did the officers have any feasible way to know that? Did the soviet era experiments on psychic aptitude secretly work and the secret service are psychic? There was no way the officers could have known that so how could they factor that into their decision on lethal force? Oh here's another one I love, "They used lethal force on an unarmed woman!" A vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon. In fact she demonstrated it's use as a potentially deadly weapon when she tried to mow down an officer. So here we have a situation with someone using a potentially deadly weapon against an officer. But surely the shooting was unjustified, lets just watch and wait to make 100% sure right? "But wait a minute, you're forgetting the 'most important part' she had a CHILD IN HER CAR!@#%$!" Did the officers know that? I specifically remember reading the article where it states that it was only after the use of lethal force had taken place that they discovered the child in the car. So again psychic soviet era secret service? No. It's human beings having to react to their lives being endangered by a mentally ill and dangerous woman. And to top it all off this took place just outside the capitol when she rammed into a metal barricade that's 265 miles away from her house. As in, she drove 265 miles to that white house to do all of this. Honestly I'd love to see anyone argue against the use of deadly force, please try I haven't had a good laugh today.
....But unfortunately, the Officers needed react, armed only with the information they had available at that time.
The fact that this woman was in need of mental health services, and that her death was pointless and tragic, can not overshadow that the officers needed to do their job.
Sometimes it doesn't boil down to:" Who can we blame." I know the media makes it seem like "someone" is always to blame, especially in a litigious society like ours, when we create lawsuits over the temperature of McDonalds Coffee. However, we must not lose our ability to be objective.
If the police had a checklist, outlining every justifiable cause for using deadly force, they would be able to check off more than just the minimum requirement. This woman made herself eligible for deadly police retaliation when she tried to enter a secured area and used her car as a weapon.
The police had no other choice, when you ram a White House barricade... Expect to get shot. Police had no way of telling that she was mentally ill and that there was a baby in the car. This is also not Hollywood where you can shoot out her tires, it's never that simple. Is it tragic? Of course, but this happened a few days after the Navy Yard shooting, just miles away. If she would've had an assault rifle and opened fire, people would've been asking why they didn't shoot her sooner.
Blatant emotional appeals to elicit sympathy for her situation, like referring to her as a "mentally-ill mother" and referencing her "one-year-old daughter" have no bearing on whether or not the actions of the police were justified. Cars are incredibly dangerous. The police made a judgment call, and it may or may not have been necessary IN HINDSIGHT to shoot her, but they couldn't have known that.
There was a moment during the chase where Miriam (seemingly unintentionally) struck an officer with her car. That is the only moment police may have been justified in firing in self-defense.
However, that moment passed and Miriam was still alive and no longer posing an imminent threat. At that point, the police no longer had any justification for using lethal force. They should have disabled her vehicle using less lethal means, and taken her into custody, alive.
Yet again, shooting an unarmed person especially with a child in the car is outrageous . If I was being surrounded by thugs I would be scared and drive away too. These cops should be shot at point blank publically to send a messege. If comes use thus force so will the people.
There were so many other ways they could have handled that. Someone could have jumped in their own car and pinned her (against a curb, another car - whatever!) when she slowed. She was all over the place, and even stopped a few times! OR! They could have shot out the tires. Although, I am a little bit annoyed since they should NOT have just opened fire in the middle of the city. What a bunch of John Wayne assholes.
This was a tragic mistake. Only a moron would not agree that these police overreacted.
The cops who shot at this lady should be fired; they should not own guns. They should never have been allowed to be cops.
These cops could have just waited after the car was stopped for about 10 minutes to see what happened; no one was in danger at that time.
It is fortunate that most police do not overreact. Not sure overreacting can ever be stopped. But, when a cop does overreact, he should be fired if he kills someone who does not have a gun or weapon, especially a lady with a one-year old baby in the back seat.
And Miriam Carey is not alone either. Police routinely get trigger happy on people with mental disabilities. Last January, police in Maryland murdered a 26 y/o mentally retarded man over a movie ticket; similarly in Los Angeles in 2010 (http://www.Salon.Com/2013/10/06/killed_over_a_movie_ticket_how_law_enforcement_hurts_people_with_disabilities/). This fact strongly suggests a "kill the useless eaters" ideology that we fought a war against.
I should also point out the eerie similarity to Trayvon Martins' case; the only real differences being that Trayvon was not mentally handicapped and George Zimmerman didnt have a license to kill.
Why did the police kill Miriam Carey instead of shooting out her tiers? They could of stopped her in so many different ways! The media is treating this like it is the most dangerous threat in history, the Congress gave a standing ovation for a killing of a woman nice job!
So we shoot our civilians based on what ifs? What if Obama is actually a terrorist from Africa here to take over our country, is it justified to execute him? There were numerous ways the policemen could have disabled the vehicle without causing harm to the woman and child, Did they take it? No, they chose the easy way and picked a "what if" decision and killed her. So if there was a bomb in the car what makes you think that killing her wouldn't set it off somehow? It could have been strapped on her body, her hand could have been on the trigger. But the media of course brain washes the weak minded to believe that everything was justified.
The only thing that can be justified is weather the policemen handling the situation were acting legally or not. When you put men on the ground to protect the public order you have to give them the legal authority to use lethal force.
The problem is when regrettable incidents like the one at hand happen. I do not think that the policemen were acting outside the law. But it would be nice to have them in extended training to be more able to recognize situations where lethal force may not be necessary.
I would like to contrast this with the training of airline pilots or SWAT forces. They are at risk of putting themselves and others in danger when not acting properly. Therefore they receive extensive and intensive training. Having more of that kind of training be received by law enforcement personnel that has the legal right to use lethal force may be a very good thing. Especially in terms of recognizing when not to use the firearm that is always at one grab from the holster away.
The fact that she had a "mental disorder" shouldn't even be the main reason why people are defending her. Doesn't anyone find that the police resorting to kill her is just wrong? You can on and on with excuses about her condition, but that doesn't matter if the police's first intention was murder?