Deadly force on Capitol Hill justified?

Police chase on in Washington D.C. ends with female suspect dead - did police act correctly?


A Connecticut woman led police on a car chase Thursday afternoon after she tried to breach a barrier at the White House. The woman's car was surrounded by police at one point. She managed to escape from authorities and lead them to Capitol Hill, where she was shot dead.

The high-speed chase near prominent Washington, D.C., landmarks has some observers asking whether law enforcement handled the situation in the right manner. Tom Ruskin, former New York Police Department detective and president of the CMP group spoke to Arthel Neville about the case.

Ruskin says the situation was handled correctly.

“In the end, a mentally deranged woman was shot and killed in an act that police … had no idea what was going on or how to defend [themselves],” said Ruskin.

Ruskin believes law enforcement proceeded with appropriate force, not knowing what the woman was capable of doing to nearby civilians and colleagues.


“You didn’t know if this woman had a bomb in the car, you know she has hit two police officers,” said Ruskin. “Hindsight tells me that these brave police officers did what they had to do.”

Ruskin was asked whether police officers should have shot the tires for the car to stop.

“It’s very easy to watch a videotape … but she is coming at the officers trying to hit them with the car,” said Ruskin. “If police did hit the tires, what happens if that ricochet shot … bounced up and hit an innocent person?”

The suspect had an 18-month-old girl in the car. The toddler avoided serious injury and was taken into protective custody after the incident.  Police might have not seen the child as they were focused on the driver.

“At that point in time they might not have even known there was child in the back of the car,” said Ruskin.

U.S. authorities began their investigation after the incident to find out why the woman acted the way she did. Ruskin says law enforcement will try to figure out “why she drove from Stamford, Connecticut down to the White House … what mental diseases was she suffering from.”

“Everything that they did [law enforcement] in capturing this person … they will learn from this incident.”

Watch the full interview with Tom Ruskin above.

Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox