WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The same day family members attended a wake for Miriam Carey in New York, a group of pastors held an interfaith prayer vigil on Capitol Hill in D.C.
The 34-year old dental hygienist from Stamford, Connecticut was fatally shot by police on October 3rd after trying to ram her vehicle through a White House barrier. Two officers were injured during the subsequent high-speed chase across the city that ended on Capitol Hill.
The vigil for Carey was held not far from where she led police on that high-speed chase in Garfield Circle.
A couple dozen ministers and parishioners from local churches prayed, sang and danced at the vigil Monday afternoon.
Participants prayed for Carey's one-year old daughter, Erica, who was inside the vehicle but unhurt. They also prayed for the officers who responded.
The M.P.D. investigation into the shooting is on-going. According to a federal law enforcement official familiar with the case, Carey’s mental health reportedly deteriorated over the past year and she had experienced delusions President Obama was in contact with her.
But Carey’s sisters have said she did not deserve to die. They suggest she was scared and fleeing perceived danger.
At the vigil., Rev. Anthony J. Motley from the Cathedral of Christ Baptist Church said he has struggled with P.T.S.D. after serving in the military. “What if I had driven where I shouldn't have driven and did something I shouldn't have done because I was suffering from mental deprivation,” he asked the crowd at the vigil. “What if that had been me?”
Motley acknowledged he has no relationship with the Carey family. However, he says, since this happened in D.C., he felt called to organize a vigil. He said the goal was not to pass judgment, but to pray for justice.
“And we pray that the investigation will bear out whether or not the officers used proper judgement or excessive force,” Motley said.
Still, Motley said his personal opinion was that "something could have been done a little differently."
He said, “We have people who sometimes might lose their way, sometimes might make the wrong decision, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're doing anything that would require deadly force.”
In Brooklyn, the Carey family planned to hold a wake Monday night, followed by a funeral Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the one-year old girl – Erica – is now in the custody of her father.