WASHINGTON - The family of Bijan Ghaisar will protest outside the U.S. Department of Interior Tuesday against the appointment of former U.S. Park Police chief Robert MacLean to lead a new law enforcement task force.
MacLean was chief of the Park Police in 2017 when two U.S. Park Police officers fatally shot Ghaisar during a traffic stop.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Merrick Garland, said he would allow federal agents to cooperate with local prosecutors pursuing manslaughter charges against the officers who fatally shot Ghaisar.
Federal authorities investigated the shooting for two years and revealed little of what they found; they ultimately decided against filing criminal charges against the two officers who shot Ghaisar, Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya.
When the feds opted against filing charges, Fairfax County prosecutors launched their own investigation. In October 2020, a Fairfax County grand jury indicted the pair on involuntary manslaughter charges. They obtained the indictment without cooperation from federal agents who possessed key evidence, Descano said.
Ghaisar was fatally shot by the officers in November 2017 following a chase on the George Washington Parkway in northern Virginia, after a fender bender in which Ghaisar’s car was rear-ended.
Dashcam video released by Fairfax County Police, who played a supporting role in the chase, shows the chase beginning on the parkway before turning into a residential neighborhood. It shows the car driven by Ghaisar stopping twice during the chase, and officers approaching the car with guns drawn. In both cases, Ghaisar drives off.
At the third and final stop, officers with guns drawn approach the car at the driver-side door. When the car starts to move again, gunshots are heard. The car starts to drift into a ditch, and two more sets of two gunshots are heard.
In court documents made public as part of a civil suit filed by Ghaisar's family, Vinyard told FBI agents who interviewed him after the shooting that he and Amaya gave Ghaisar "chance after chance" to surrender peacefully before opening fire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.