ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has rejected a request from Justice Department lawyers to delay a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of a northern Virginia man shot and killed by U.S. Park Police in 2017 after a stop-and-go highway chase.
U.S. Senior Judge Claude Hilton ruled that the civil trial will go forward as scheduled in November. Lawyers for the federal government, which is the defendant in the case, say they can’t build a proper defense because the two officers who shot 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar are invoking their Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to discuss their rationale for opening fire.
Federal prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against the two officers, but Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano is conducting a criminal probe.
Ghaisar’s parents say their son was unarmed and the shooting was unjustified. They and several members of Congress have criticized Park Police for a lack of transparency about what occurred.
At a pretrial hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria, The Washington Post reports that Hilton said a delay would be pointless because there’s no indication that the two officers, Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya, will decide to cooperate any time soon.