Park Police offers response after canceling meeting with local politicians

WASHINGTON — A meeting Tuesday between U.S. Park Police, a D.C. delegate and a Virginia congressman was meant to discuss a proposed bill about required use of body and dashboard cameras for uniformed federal officers.

But U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean canceled that meeting with D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and in a statement, Park Police said lawmakers later indicated they wanted to talk about the deadly police-involved shooting that happened last November.

During that November shooting, 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar, a McLean resident, was shot and killed after a hit-and-run crash and a brief police chase on the George Washington Parkway.

Since the FBI is leading the ongoing investigation into that shooting, Park Police did not want to discuss it in order to “ensure the integrity of the investigation.”

With regards to the proposed bill, Park Police stated, “While the USPP is prepared to discuss cameras, the USPP is not prepared to take a position on legislation.”

The statement added, “National Park Service officials are prepared to meet with members of Congress to discuss general policy on body and dashboard cameras in the future.”

Earlier this week, Norton and Beyer expressed their dissatisfaction with MacLean’s abrupt cancellation and the reason he gave them. They were told Tuesday that the chief was concerned the meeting might violate certain anti-lobbying laws.

“It’s just like a made-up excuse,” Norton had said Tuesday.

Norton’s office said it specifically stated the chief was not expected to take a stance on the shooting and is working to reschedule another meeting.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch and Jack Pointer contributed to this story. 

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