After Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed in 2017 by U.S. Park Police in Virginia, his family had many questions surrounding his death. Unfortunately, little information was provided that helped the family understand why the 25-year-old accountant was shot and killed. According to police, Ghaisar allegedly left the scene of an accident where he had been rear-ended.
Officers began pursuing Ghaisar’s vehicle which developed into a chase. Video footage captured the chase which showed Ghaisar’s vehicle stopping twice. During both of those times, officers began approaching the vehicle with their guns drawn. Ghaisar took off each time. After Ghaisar stopped his vehicle for the third time, armed officers again approached the vehicle by the drivers-side door. As his car began to move, officers fired five gunshots.
After Ghaisar’s vehicle was struck several times, it began to drift into a ditch. Two more gunshots can be heard in the video that was captured by the dashcam in one of the officer’s vehicles.
After the FBI conducted a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Attorney decided nearly two years after the shooting that it would not press criminal charges against the two officers, Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya who were involved in the incident. Displeased with this outcome, the Ghaiser family needed more answers regarding the shooting they believed shouldn’t have happened. Up until now, Ghaisar’s investigative file has been kept confidential. However, after his family filed a lawsuit against the government as well as the officers who shot Ghaisar, their attorney has requested that the government hand over the file so that it can be reviewed.
ABC News reported that government lawyers have “delayed in turning over the file because the material in [it] is sensitive and voluminous.” During the most recent hearing that was held on March 6, 2020, U.S. Magistrate Ivan Davis said, “the government had no right to withhold the file from the Ghaisar family’s lawyers.” During that hearing, he ordered the government to turn over the entire file. Davis also acknowledged that the government’s lawyers did not have the authority to decide whether the material should have been withheld.
After Davis ordered the government to turn over the files, the family’s attorney said he was “eager to review the file and see what it contains, if anything, to justify the government’s decision not to prosecute.”
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