Amy Carey Jones and Valarie Carey, the sisters of the Connecticut woman Miriam Carey, whose actions led to a brief lockdown of Capitol Hill last week, say they believe Miriam was frightened but did not pose a threat.
Speaking on NBC's Today show Monday morning, they said that their sister feared for her life when she led police officers on a high-speed chase from the White House to the U.S. Capitol.
"If you hear gunshots, it's like, 'I'm afraid. I don't want to be here. I want to get out of here. I have a baby in the car,'" said Valarie Carey, a former New York City Police sergeant. "My sister was fleeing. She was trying to figure out how to get out of there."
Both say they had no idea their sister had traveled to Washington, D.C., or why. Miriam's boyfriend and the father of her 1-year-old daughter said that she was delusional and thought President Obama had the city of Stamford on lockdown and her home under electronic surveillance.
Her sisters acknowledged that she'd been diagnosed with postpartum depression with psychosis and was in the process of tapering off her medications, but denied allegations that Miriam had any sort of political agenda.
"She never talked badly about President Obama," Amy Carey Jones said on the morning talk show. "She was not walking around delusional, which is what we want the public to understand. She was not delusional."
Carey Jones also suggested that the police went overboard in their reaction and could have handled the situation "a lot differently."
"Maybe there was some bit of overreaction or negligence, we don't know. We still feel that there was maybe another story than what we're being told," she said.
But lawmakers and employees on Capitol Hill have a different view. Immediately after the incident, members of Congress on the House floor saluted the Capitol Police's heroism and praised them for putting their lives on the line to protect and serve. And they did so, lawmakers noted, without pay because of the government shutdown.
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(Photo: The Today Show/NBC)