Fairfax Co. Police Chief releases video of fatal U.S. Park Police shooting

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.—Wednesday, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Rosseler released the dash-cam video showing the high-speed chase that ensued between U.S. Park Police officers and Bijan Ghaisar, that ended in the shooting death of the 25-year-old accountant the night of November 17, 2017, by U.S. Park Police.

Chief Roessler said in a statement that he did so out of a commitment to transparency.
The video came from a Fairfax Police cruiser that was providing back-up to the Park Police the night that Ghaisar was killed.

“Utterly reckless, uncalled for, and not a moment was there any protocols of de-escalation.”, said Ghaisar family trial attorney, Tom Connelly of Harris, Wiltshire, & Grannis, in reaction to the video showing a U.S. Park Police officer shooting Ghaisar nine times, just before 8:00 that evening.

According to Ghaisar’s family, he was unarmed.
The FBI says Ghaisar was driving a jeep wanted in connection to a hit-and-run crash.
The dash-cam video shows the Park Police officer pointing what looks like a gun during the initial stop, and trying to get into Ghaisar’s SUV, who is seen to have had the windows rolled up and the doors locked.
It’s at that point, Ghaisar is seen taking off.
“This was a minor fender bender on the street. The worst-case scenario for the police would have been to allow Bijan to go home and to go back that night and asked him if he got into a wreck on the highway. That’s the worst that should’ve happened here. Instead, we’ve lost a beautiful young man’s life.”, said Connolly.
In a statement, Fairfax Police Chief Roesslar said, “As a matter of transparency to all in our community, especially the Ghaisar family […] I am releasing the in-car video of the U.S. Park Police shooting. The video does not provide all the answers. However, we should all have confidence in the FBI’s investigation of this matter as I know it will be thorough, objective and professional.”
Connolly says U.S. Park Police Chief Robert D. MacLean did meet with the Ghaisar family in the hospital, but has not offered up any further information.
“We don’t know the officer’s name, whether they remain on duty, whether the public is still at risk from these officers and their behavior. We have been provided zero information from US Park Police.”, said Connolly.

Connolly said that he wants to see training manuals and evaluations to gauge what kind of officers those involved, had been in the past.
in a statement, Park Police Chief MacLean says “While respecting the integrity of the investigation, I also recognize the desire for more information and details surrounding the investigation and the death of 25-year-old, Bijan Ghaisar.”

Connolly says the US Park Police has six-months to respond before the Ghaisar family can pursue a civil suit.

Ghaisar was a first generation born Iranian-American and worked as an accountant at his family’s firm.

In response to the video, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is calling for immediate accountability of the officers involved, saying, in part, “This tragic incident comes at a dark time for an Iranian-American community that has been profiled, discriminated against, and targeted by policies and hateful rhetoric.

Read their full statement here: NIAC Statement