Tag Archives: violence

Guns, car chases and a little girl at the back seat…

Miriam Carey, 34, was shot and killed by the Washington DC police after trying to go through the barriers around the White House and the Capitol.  A single young black woman, surrounded by the policemen pointing guns at her, she chose to ram a police car and drive off. The officers fired multiple shots even thou they were in a crowded area.

A chase ensued in which one policeman was knocked over by Carey and another drove his car into a concrete barrier.

When Carey got her car stuck, she was surrounded and shot to death.

She was unarmed and had her 1 year old daughter with her in the car.

I am not sure if we will ever find out what drove her to going what she did and why her behaviour was so erratic. She was supposed to suffer from post-partum depression but at the same time her family and co-workers describe her a warm, good person.  Did she have a nervous breakdown? Following her first attempt to get through the barriers around the White House did she get scared of the police officers and their guns and panicked? Was she confused and scared from the beginning? Or  was she trying to get killed?

I find it hard to believe she was planning a terrorist attack at the Capitol. The little I’ve seen from the footage points rather to someone confused and lost.

Did she pose a threat? Probably yes, to certain extent. Should they have killed her? No.

I keep thinking that in Britain those police officers would not have the guns in the first place.  Maybe they would be more exposed to danger, that’s true. But maybe they would have managed to communicate with her more effectively and instead of killing her they might have managed to get her out of the car and find out what was wrong.

And I keep thinking about this little girl. She is just one year old now. What will someone tell her when she asks what happened with her mum? And will she have nightmares  not even realising that it’s the events of that day that are causing them?

I don’t want to judge either side, but something went wrong there, I think.

And congressmen thanking the police for their efforts in keeping them safe seem just this little bit overkill. ” Thank you for saving us from a woman, whose motives we know nothing about, and who haven’t actually caused serious harm, and her one year old child”.

I’m angry and sad, and keep going back to the thought what if one of my loved ones had an emotional breakdown and did something stupid… Would it get them killed too?

Washington Post  /  The Times 

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Safe Passage

Safe Passage

I’ve read this today and was immediately hit by the thought how much I take for granted my safety .

I grew up in a small miners’ town where drinking, poverty and violence were daily occurrences.  Mind you, guns did not feature in this scenarios. Weapons of choice included knives, bottles and various wooden implements.

In spite of that I have never been a witness of direct act of violence, excluding maybe a few punches after one drink too many at a local pub. From early age I walked to school alone (there were just two primary schools and one secondary school in the area).  I was travelling by bus to nearby towns to go shopping/wandering with friends on my own, often coming back home after dark. I’ve spend most of my summer days wandering the area with a group of friends, doing stuff now would probably be illegal.

I lived in at least 6 different places, in three different countries.  Now I live in a big city, but again, I feel safe 99.9% of the time.  [The number of non-sexual crimes of violence recorded by the police in 2012-13 was 7,530 our of which there were 91 homicides – for the WHOLE COUNTRY.  The number of homicides for last year in my city equalled 2]. Maybe I just choose the right places to live…

I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t have a point of reference for a situation where in XXI century in a western country a four year old kid was a witness to a shooting, where closing schools puts kids at risk because they will have to cross gang boundaries, and where over $15m has to be spend just on providing safe (or merely slightly safer?) routes to school for the local students.

I feel so sorry for all those kids, growing up in the world where they can’t leave the house to play and feel safe. Where they can’t explore the neighbourhood and learn about the world, life and other people themselves, not from a TV screen or video game. Childhood as I remember wasn’t a bed of roses. There were dangers, there were disappointments, there were tears and humiliation. But there was also joy, and freedom, and wide-eyed wonder.

Will future generations ever know that?