A screenshot of the video showing Park Police officers shooting Bijan Ghaisar at the intersection of Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue.
Rep. Don Beyer has sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking why the investigation into the Park Police shooting of Bijan Ghaisar on Fort Hunt Road is taking as long as it is.
Saying he was “deeply concerned about lack of timeliness,” Beyer said he wants the FBI to meet with him in person and provide a timeline for the investigation.
“While I appreciate the candor and constancy of phone calls to date with the FBI, I want to speak face-to-face given the legitimate and heightened concern from the local community,” Beyer said in the letter.
Additionally, Beyer is demanding that the 911 calls related to the case be publicly released — something that the Justice Department is actively trying to block, according to recent reports.
Beyer had previously asked for tapes of those calls and other information in a Jan. 30 letter. He cautioned that the continuing lack of information in the case negatively affects the public’s perception of how the shooting investigation has been handled.
“The Northern Virginia public demands high transparency and accountability standards from its local government and law enforcement entities,” Beyer said today. “Failure to be responsive and transparent undermines public trust.”
Ghaisar, 25, was shot and critically injured after a police chase down the George Washington Parkway and through a neighborhood in the Fort Hunt area on Nov. 17. As Ghaisar’s Jeep Grand Cherokee stopped and the slowly began moving again at the intersection of Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue, two Park Police officers fired a total of nine shots at him. Four of those shots hit Ghaisar, according to his family.
He died from his wounds 10 days later.
Beyer, along with Washington D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, has said he plans to introduce legislation requiring in-car cameras and body cameras to be used by Park Police officers. Ghaisar’s shooting and the preceding chase were captured by dashboard cameras in a Fairfax County Police car that participated in the chase. The Fairfax County Police publicly released that video on Jan. 24.
In addition to 911 calls related to the case, the names of the officers involved have not been released by either the FBI or the Park Police. Nor has any official reason been given for why officers shot Ghaisar.