I followed the online news stories coming out of Washington yesterday. I tore out more of my hair.
The first reports quoted police saying that the woman attempted to "break through a gate" at the White House, and then rammed a barricade. I guess there were too many witnesses, and people who pointed out that there was no damage to the front of her car, because that changed to "attempted to go through" a gate (which was open). "Ramming a barricade" became "tried to go around" one of those fence section dohickies like are used for crowd control that a secret service agent was pulling in front of her car in an attempt to divert her. She did hit the agent (who ran in front of her car), who was injured when he slid to the ground.
She then took off at high speed, acquiring a screaming police tail.
They managed to stop her (or she just stopped, not sure) and blocked her in with a police cruiser behind her. Now, initial reports said she shot at the police at that point. However, I guess there were too many witnesses who pointed out that her windows were closed and unbroken, so much later that version changed. She looked out her window and saw a cop in that classic firing range position, with a gun 18 inches from her and pointed at her head. (Having read my immediately previous blog post, and being herself of the "wrong" race, she knew what was coming, so...) She backed into the blocking police car, wiggled out, and took off again.
Reporters were careful to point out that she then headed to the capitol building and senate offices. (The video actually shows her literally going around in circles.) If you look at any map of DC, the capitol building is straight up the widest road from the White House, so it doesn't take any planning to get there.
The police fired on the car, and then stopped her again. Interestingly, there is no video of that stop. Initial reports said she got out of the car and opened fire on the officers, so they shot her dead. Barrump-bump.
Later reports noted that she was unarmed.
This morning's reports say she never even got out of the car. They shot her while she was sitting in the car. Judge, jury, executioner?
Police claim they didn't know there was an infant in the car during all that shooting. I call B.S. On that first stop, you KNOW someone checked the back seat to make sure there weren't three more people hiding back there. That's SOP. Modern infant car seats are huge and stand out from the back seat. Plus, "news" reports noted a baby in the back even before that final stop.
Now, all that speculation reported as fact was disturbing enough. Everybody was so anxious to get the info out first that they didn't care if it was accurate or not.
What REALLY got to me was the comments on the articles from (here we go again, can you tell I'm furious?) assholes.
Almost all of the commenters, better than 98%, made it into a political act, blaming anger at the government shutdown. Half blamed Congress (about evenly divided between blaming Republicans for their assholery, and Democrats for their refusal to
What got me was that EVERYONE was absolutely sure that THEY KNEW what her motive and intent was. With NO facts, NO knowlege of her, they were SURE they knew exactly what was going on in her head.
You have no idea how much that infuriates me!
So, early evening, Daughter and Nugget visited, and I told Daughter what was going on, and how angry all this
She thinks like me. She and I immediately came up with a story (one of a hundred possibilities) that could explain what was really going on with the woman. It is every bit as valid as all those other theories, so why did no one consider something like this?
By the way, this morning's reports, after interviews with family and friends, reveal that she's apolitical, and after her daughter's birth in August of 2012, she suffered such severe postpartum depression that she had been hospitalized. "She's still not right." It may be that the baby fell asleep in the car, and she just kept driving, to get a few hours of that blessed peace.
Our possible story:
She was driving from Connecticut to Virginia for whatever reason. She got off the beltway at the wrong exit, and instead of going into Virginia, she found herself at the Mall. Traffic is the usual mess, and she's not a confident city driver, and to make matters worse, she needs a restroom so bad her eyeballs literally hurt (no restrooms on the beltway). Oh, well, the monuments all have restrooms in their basements, so maybe that's ok.
But none of the monuments are open. The parking lots are blocked. This isn't a civilized European country with public, self-cleaning bathrooms on the sidewalks. To make matters worse, the baby woke up and is screaming bloody murder. It all gets to her and she goes slightly nuts. If you are a mother, you know that craziness.
Then she spots the White House, and an open gate. Maybe they're open. Maybe they have tourist restrooms.
She turns in, and is thwarted by some guy who wants to close the gate. NO WAY! No way you are closing NOW, when I need it so desperately! Wait until I'm done! She tries to go around the barricade and bumps the guy pushing it, knocking him to the ground. Oh, f**k. I don't need this. Besides, I just pissed all over the car seat, so f**k you all, it's all your fault, I'm outta here.
She notices she now has a screaming police escort. Is that for me?! All she wants to do is get away. Out of here. Out of the nightmare. Make it all go away. Angry and slightly crazed by her ruined upholstery, wet crotch, and screaming baby, down to both physical and mental tunnel vision, she hits the gas.
The police manage to pull her over. She looks to the driver side window, expecting to find an angry cop that she has grovel to, explain things to, maybe she'll get a ticket, oh crap, I really don't need this.
Instead, she's staring straight into the barrel of a gun. She's heard the stories. Scared witless, she takes off. Get away from here! Find someplace safe! Now they're shooting at me! Oh my god, I knew that would happen! Get away, away, away!
Finally she stops. Maybe I can explain this. Maybe they'll give me some dry underpants. Maybe the baby will stop that infernal screaming. I can't think when she's screaming...