500 days after Park Police shooting, Bijan Ghaisar’s family holds protest at DOJ

Several members of Bijan Ghaisar’s family demonstrated outside the U.S. Department of Justice on Pennsylvania Avenue Monday, 500 days after the McLean, Virginia man was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police.

Ghaisar, 25, was fatally shot by two Park Police officers on Nov. 17, 2017 in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County, Virginia.

The shooting followed a police chase on the George Washington Parkway during which officers said they repeatedly tried to pull Ghaisar over without success.

Ghaisar was unarmed at the time.

He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 10 days later.

“Our government has given the officers total protection,” said Kelly, Ghaisar’s mother. “This is unjust.”

Shortly after the shooting, the U.S. Park Police turned the investigation over to the FBI. Officials in charge of the case have provided very few details over the past 1 1/2 years despite calls for answers from Ghaisar’s family, members of the media and several members of Congress.

The Justice Department has not determined whether the officers will face charges or whether the shooting was justified.

“They don’t give us a timeline and they don’t give us answers,” Kelly Ghaisar said. “It’s total silence.”

The officers involved, who remain on administrative duty, were just identified last week as Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard.

Their names were released as part of a wrongful-death lawsuit that was filed by Ghaisar’s family against the federal government.

Video captured by the Fairfax County Police Department shows the officers firing nine shots at Ghaisar.

“We feel anger, sadness and disappointment,” said Kelly Ghaisar.

Ghaisar’s sister, Negeen, described the past 500 days as “torture.”

“It’s like being in purgatory,” said Negeen. “There’s been no accountability, and every single day you wake up and it’s like you’re reliving the same moment over and over again. You have no answers and no one seems to care.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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