Family of slain Va. motorist seeks names of officers

WASHINGTON — The family of Bijan Ghaisar, the Virginia accountant who was shot to death by the U.S. Park Police during a traffic stop in November 2017, are seeking the release of the names of the officers who shot him.

Bijan Ghaisar was a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and his family describes him as a ”kind and gentle soul.” (Courtesy Ghaisar family)

Ghaisar, 25, of McLean, was involved in a fender-bender near Old Town Alexandria on Nov. 27, 2017, and led police on a chase for several miles down the George Washington Parkway. He stopped on Alexandria Avenue near Fort Hunt Road and was sitting in his Jeep when he was shot at nine times.

The Fairfax County police, who participated in the chase but not the shooting, released dashcam video of the shooting.

Ghaisar’s family announced Tuesday that they’re filing Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI and the Park Police for the officers’ names, and for more information. The FBI is in charge of the investigation.

Federal prosecutors have blocked the family from accessing recordings of the 911 calls regarding the chase. FBI Director Christopher Wray has twice declined to meet with U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, of Virginia, to discuss the case. Park Police, the FBI and D.C. prosecutors have never said why they believe officers opened fire on Ghaisar.

“For more than eight months our hearts have broken more and more with each day we wait on answers from the very forces that are supposed to protect us all,” Negeen Ghaisar, Bijan Ghaisar’s sister, said in the statement.

“This silence cannot stand any longer. The Park Police and the FBI owe my family and the public, at the very least, an explanation of the basic answers and facts around Bijan’s death.”

His family has said Ghaisar was unarmed, but investigators have never specified whether they believe he had a weapon.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

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