WASHINGTON - For the first time since a McLean man was shot to death by U.S. Park Police officers last year, there is documented evidence that he was not armed. A police report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act is revealing new details about the highly-controversial shooting of Bijan Ghaisar.
U.S. Park Police have never spoken about the fatal shooting and have never given an account into why two of their officers opened fire on Ghaisar while he slowly maneuvered his Jeep around them on Nov. 17. On Monday, attorneys representing Ghaisar's family have obtained a 14-page police report, which confirms what the family has previously said all along.
Two months after Ghaisar was shot by two U.S. Park Police officers near Fort Hunt Road, the police chief for Fairfax County police released video of the pursuit and shooting recorded by a county officer's dash cam. The footage showed no obvious reasons why officers opened fire on the man.
For nearly a year, Ghaisar's family has been asking for more information about the incident. Now in this Fairfax County police report, there is documented eyewitness accounts from officers at the scene.
On page 8 under supplemental notes, one officer wrote, "The offending vehicle was seen attempting to maneuver around the Park PD cruiser while the Park PD officer was attempting to open the vehicle's door. As the vehicle attempted to drive around the cruiser, the Park PD officer fired into the vehicle."
On page 13 of the report, there is documented proof of what Ghaisar's family and attorneys have said all along during the investigation:
"After Park PD got the door open myself and [unnamed officer] pulled the subject from the vehicle in an effort to render aid. The seat belt was cut in the process. Rescue personnel arrived shortly after and took over aid. I patted the subject down for safety and nothing was found."
The report also stated:
"The inside of the vehicle was viewed and determined that there were no weapons in plain view or reach of the driver. The rear of the vehicle was also checked with no weapons seen. There were no drug or narcotics visible to [sic] from plain view, but I did not search the vehicle."
In recent weeks, FOX 5 has attempted to get a comment from U.S. Park Police Chief Rob MacLean about the case. He responded, "I don't think this is the appropriate time for that." He then walked away as we tried to ask further questions.
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