Arlington County releases part of 911 call in Bijan Ghaisar case

Officials in Arlington County, Virginia, have released part of a 911 call that set in motion a chase that ended when U.S. Park Police shot and killed Bijan Ghaisar in 2017.

In a one-minute-36-second 911 recording, released to Fox 5 by the county, a caller tells Arlington County police that she is an Uber passenger whose ride-share was just involved in a crash, and the other driver, Ghaisar, has left the scene.

“I’m calling to report a hit-and-run that I was just in and the driver took off … I’m in an Uber right now, and we’re on the highway … GW Parkway,” the caller told the 911 operator, “The car was literally stopped in the middle of GW Parkway.”

When the caller explained that the Uber she was riding in struck the rear of Ghaisar’s car on the George Washington Parkway — which is under the jurisdiction of U.S. Park Police — the emergency call was routed to the other police agency.

“I’m going to have to transfer you to U.S. Park Police,” the 911 operator said. In the brief recording, as the woman begins to retell her story to U.S. Park Police, the recording abruptly ends.

U.S. Park Police, which have never publicly said what led officers to open fire on the unarmed Ghaisar, have not released their part of the 911 call.

The 25-year-old McLean accountant had repeatedly eluded police after the collision, stopping two times and then moving again.

On the third stop in the Fort Hunt neighborhood of Fairfax County, U.S. Park Police again approached Ghaisar’s vehicle; and as it began to roll away, police fired nine shots: killing him.

Last month the Justice Department announced it would not press federal charges against the U.S. Park Police officers because investigators could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard willfully violated Ghaisar’s civil rights.

This story has been corrected to indicate that Arlington County officials — not Arlington County police — released the audio.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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