FBI denies congressman’s inquiries into US Park Police shooting of Va. man

WASHINGTON — Five months after a 25-year-old Virginia man was shot by United States Park Police officers and died from his injuries, the FBI has denied a lawmaker’s second request for an update in the federal investigation.

The repeated request of Virginia congressman Don Beyer, a Democrat from the 8th District, to meet with FBI director Christopher Wray on the investigation into Bijan Ghaisar’s shooting was declined Thursday.

In the FBI letter obtained by WTOP, Acting Deputy Assistant Director Zachary Lowe writes to Beyer, “While we appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention and empathize with the Ghaisars, long-standing policy generally precludes us from commenting on the status or existence of any potential investigative matter.”

The statement is slightly confusing, given that the FBI has previously confirmed it is running the investigation into the Nov. 17, 2017 U.S. Park Police shooting of the McLean accountant on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It has not filed charges.

In the letter, Lowe refers to two requests from Beyer’s office, made on Jan. 30 and March 26, asking for a briefing on the federal investigation.

In a statement, Beyer called the bureau’s response “not good enough,” adding, “I am still deeply concerned over the lack of timeliness of the FBI’s civil rights investigation.”

He goes on to say in a statement, “Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed in November and we still don’t even know the names of the officers involved. It’s been five months, and the Ghaisars and our community deserve answers.”

The Fairfax County police released dashboard video of the shooting in January; however, two weeks ago the U.S. Attorney’s office moved to block a request for the release of 911 calls.

U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. James Dingeldein said the two officers involved in the shooting remain on administrative leave.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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