Lawmakers urge internal Park Police investigation into Bijan Ghaisar shooting

Three members of Congress are calling on U.S. Park Police to begin an internal investigation into the death of unarmed driver Bijan Ghaisar of McLean, Virginia, who was shot in the Fort Hunt area almost exactly two years ago.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced it has decided not to pursue federal charges against the two officers involved.

The following day, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, along with Congressman Don Beyer and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, sent a letter to acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan.

The letter reads, in part:

“Because of the actions documented on video by Fairfax County, Virginia police on November 17, 2017, the public cannot trust that officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard will keep them safe, and that they will protect the community from harm. Consequently, the local community deserves to know the status of the officers in question and whether there is a plan to return law enforcement powers to these officers.”

The letter insists Park Police “must” launch an investigation.

“We ask that the investigation consider personnel sanctions, including possible termination, for the two officers in question. The investigation should review the Park Police’s policies and practices for body and dashboard cameras, vehicle pursuits and use of force. The Park Police owe the results of this investigation to the Ghaisars, Congress and the public.”

The letter requests a written response by Dec. 5 to let the lawmakers know if the investigation will go forward, when it’s expected to be finished, how wide of a scope it will have and what the officers’ duty status will be while it is going on.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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