From [HERE] The family of a northern Virginia Iranian American man shot to death by U.S. Park Police in 2017 has identified the two officers in an amended wrongful-death lawsuit.
Bijan Ghaiser was shot on Nov. 17, 2017, after a police chase on the George Washington Parkway.
In a federal lawsuit filed in August, Ghaiser's family described the shooting as "egregious, senseless and unlawful." The family identified the officers as Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard in a court filing Friday.
A Park Police spokesman declined to comment. Both officers have been on paid administrative duties since the shooting. All the cops were white.
Vinyard has worked for the Park Police since 2007, while Amaya joined the force in 2009.
Neither officer could be reached for comment Friday. Vinyard did not immediately respond to a message left at his home. Amaya did not immediately respond to a message left on his cellphone. The names of their attorneys were not yet listed in court documents.
The lawsuit says the chase began after Ghaiser, 25, was involved in a minor traffic accident. While driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, he was hit from behind by an Uber driver, driving a Toyota Corolla and with a female passenger in the back seat. The driver and the passenger both reported the incident to 911.
According to a report of the accident, Ghaisar pulled away without giving his information to the Uber driver. A lookout for his vehicle was announced and a Park Police car and Fairfax County Police car followed in pursuit. Ghaisar stopped his vehicle and was approached by a Park Police officer with his gun drawn. As Ghaisar drove off, the officer banged on the car with the gun, dropping his weapon. The pursuit continued at 57 miles per hour, in a zone that had a 50-mile-per-hour limit. However, no traffic or people were on the road at that time of night.
Ghaisar stopped a third time in the Fort Hunt area. Park Police parked a vehicle in front of Ghaisar's Jeep to prevent him from fleeing again at an intersection with stop sign. It says Ghaiser drove away from the scene and was pursued by Park Police. They say he stopped three times, and each time, officers jumped from their cruiser and pointed their guns at him.
The lawsuit says that on the third stop, officers blocked his path with their patrol car, jumped out and fired nine shots into Ghaisar's Jeep.
Dashcam video released by Fairfax County police shows that during the final stop, officers with guns drawn approach the car at the driver side door. The video clearly shows that the cops were in no danger when they shot him; the cops were at his driver side just feet away as he began to drive away again turning his car to the right at about 1 mph. After the first set of shots he stops. Moments later, the car continues to move to the right at about 1 mph when the cops shoot into the car again at close range on his driver side. The cops were never in the vehicle’s path.
The FBI said recently that the shooting is a complex case and its 16-month investigation is not unusual [and would it be complex if this man shot cops like this?]. The agency's comments came in a March 15 letter to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who has questioned why the FBI is taking so long to investigate the shooting.