Our Dark New Normal

Abby Zimet

Fragments of details are still emerging from the story of yesterday's shooting in D.C., which just gets sadder and weirder. What's known: capitol police shot and killed Miriam Carey, 34, an unarmed mother and dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn. reportedly suffering from postpartum depression and other mental health issues. So much here is jarring: the growing sense that Carey was likely a victim of her own panicked confusion, the photos of swarming well-armed armies of cops who nonetheless confronted and shot her - with her toddler daughter in the car - the often-nonchalant curiosity of bystanders, the spectacle of a "heartfelt and deeply meant" standing ovation from an ever-hypocritical, mostly white male Congress for the killing of a distraught black woman by a police force intent on protecting them, but currently unpaid. From sea to dysfunctional sea.

Update: The day after the shooting - ie: after the facts about Carey were known - the Senate doorkeeper was handing out "Thank You Capitol Police" buttons.

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