Justice Department now says it will help Fairfax County prosecutors in Bijan Ghaisar case
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department now says it will allow FBI agents to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against two Park Police officers charged in connection with the killing of Bijan Ghaisar.
After stalling out at the federal level, the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office investigated the case and charged U.S. Park Police officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard with manslaughter.
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The Justice Department reversed a Trump era decision to withhold federal agents' assistance this week in a letter signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In March, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano requested that the DOJ re-examine the Trump administration’s decision to withhold the cooperation of federal officers.
READ MORE: Virginia prosecutors ask DOJ to reconsider not prosecuting Park Police killing of Bijan Ghaisar
Authorities say that on Nov. 17, 2017, Amaya and Vinyard shot Ghaisar after they attempted to stop him and his SUV started to pull away.
Prior to the shooting, Ghaisar had left the scene of a minor crash on the George Washington Parkway.
READ MORE: US Park Police officers charged with manslaughter in shooting of Bijan Ghaisar
Dashcam video of the chase and shooting prompted outrage, as the vehicle appeared to be approaching the officers at a slow speed. The 911 call reporting the initial minor accident on the GW Parkway that Ghaisar was involved in is one of the many factors that played a role in bringing charges against Amaya and Vinyard.
Ghaisar's family and several lawmakers believe the officers acted unreasonably and with excessive force.