Nearly two years after the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar, the U.S. Justice Department announced no criminal charges against the two U.S. Park Police officers involved.
The Fatal Shooting of Bijan Ghaisar
The Justice Department found prosecutors unable to prove the officers, Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard, knowingly and willfully violated civil rights law. In a news release, the department specified it wasn’t unreasonable for Ghaisar be subject to seizure, according to wtop.com.
“The Department is unable to disprove a claim of self-defense or defense of others by the officers,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, in a statement, reported wtop.com.
The incident began police gave chase to Ghaisar on Nov. 17, 2017. Officers attempted repeatedly to pull Ghaisar over, who kept evading officers on the George Washington Parkway. Finally, Fairfax County officer dash cam footage captures the two officers shoot Ghaisar, reported twop.com.
The Justice Department release fails to explain why the officers felt the need to shoot Ghaisar. But in a federal lawsuit, lawyers representing the officers said they fired in self-defense, according to wtop.com.
The ambiguity lead Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to issue a join statement:
“The Ghaisars deserve to understand what happened,” read the statement, according to wtop.com. “To that end, we will be formally requesting a briefing within the next 30 days from the Department of Justice to understand what went into the decision.”
Meanwhile, Ghaisar’s family issued a statement of its own, criticizing the Department of Justice on its decision. The family called the decision a “cowardly act by a Department of Justice that is afraid to hold law enforcement, especially federal law enforcement, accountable when it commits murder,” reported wtop.com.
The U.S. Park Police said it was reviewing the FBI investigative findings, reported wtop.com.