Family of Va. man shot by Park Police wants explanation for each shot

WASHINGTON — The chants of “We are Bijan” echoed off the Department of the Interior building in downtown D.C., as a large crowd gathered to demand answers in the death of a 25-year-old accountant from McLean, Virginia.

Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police officers, after Ghaisar led police on a pursuit. The chase began after Ghaisar was involved in a traffic accident.

The protest Friday night was one of several that has been organized since Ghaisar’s death last November. It was held at Rawlins Park, across the street from the Interior Department, which oversees the National Park Service. NPS oversees the U.S. Park Police.

Dash-camera footage from the shooting, released by Fairfax County police (which assisted in the pursuit), appeared to show Park Police officers firing as many as nine shots at Ghaisar’s SUV on the George Washington Parkway.

Ghaisar was unarmed when he was shot by the officers.

Kelly and James Ghaisar speak to the crowd gathered outside the Department of the Interior, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. They are demanding answers on the death of Bijan Ghaisar, who was kiled by U.S. Park Police in November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Kelly and James Ghaisar speak to the crowd gathered outside the Department of the Interior, Friday. They are demanding answers in the death of Bijan Ghaisar, who was kiled by U.S. Park Police in November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

Negeen Ghaisar speaks at a rally held Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, outside of the Department of the Interior in D.C. Supporters demand answers in the U.S. Park Police shooting death of Virginia man Bijan Ghaisar last November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Negeen Ghaisar speaks at a rally held Friday outside of the Department of the Interior in D.C. Supporters demand answers in the U.S. Park Police shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar last November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

The protest Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, was one of several that has been organized since Bijan Ghaisar’s death last November. Ghaisar died after he was shot by U.S. Park Police. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The protest Friday was one of several that has been organized since Bijan Ghaisar’s death last November. Ghaisar died after he was shot by U.S. Park Police. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

A large crowd gathered to demand answers in the death of 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar, an accountant from McLean, Virginia. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
A large crowd gathered to demand answers in the death of 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar, an accountant from McLean, Virginia. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

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Kelly and James Ghaisar speak to the crowd gathered outside the Department of the Interior, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. They are demanding answers on the death of Bijan Ghaisar, who was kiled by U.S. Park Police in November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Negeen Ghaisar speaks at a rally held Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, outside of the Department of the Interior in D.C. Supporters demand answers in the U.S. Park Police shooting death of Virginia man Bijan Ghaisar last November. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The protest Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, was one of several that has been organized since Bijan Ghaisar’s death last November. Ghaisar died after he was shot by U.S. Park Police. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
A large crowd gathered to demand answers in the death of 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar, an accountant from McLean, Virginia. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

“I want an explanation for every single one of those nine shots,” said Ghaisar’s sister Negeen.

The sound from the police video played during a moment of silence, and the sound of gunshots fired by U.S. Park Police echoed in the hush.

“If this is not murder, I wonder what is murder?” said Bijan’s mother, Kelly Ghaisar, to the crowd.

The FBI is investigating the shooting.

Earlier this week, Park Police Chief Robert MacLean said in statement that he has met with the man’s family and promised an impartial investigation.

Also in the wake of the shooting, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton announced Friday that she will introduce a bill that would require federal police officers to wear body cameras and have dashboard cameras in marked cars.

“Particularly in the District, where there are many federal officers — including those with local policing powers — we must ensure federal officers are held accountable to the public for their actions,” Norton said in a statement on the bill.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

Capital News Service is a student-staffed news wire and broadcast news service operated by the University of Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism. © 2021 Capital News Service. All Rights Reserved.

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