Park Police officers seek immunity from manslaughter charge

Virginia News

FILE – From left, Negeen Ghaisar, James Ghaisar, Kelly Ghaisar and Kouros Emami, family of Bijan Ghaisar walk outside federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Friday, March 6, 2020. A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Virginia prosecutors can bring manslaughter charges against two U.S. Park Police officers accused of fatally shooting unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar, in 2017. A hearing is scheduled Friday, April 23, 2021, in Alexandria. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat, File)

UPDATE 6:20 a.m. (8/24/21): Lawyers for two U.S. Park Police officers told a judge that local prosecutors are not entitled to second-guess the split-second judgments officers made when they fatally shot an unarmed motorist after a stop-and-go chase in northern Virginia.

The officers sought to persuade a judge Monday in federal court in Alexandria that their clients have immunity from manslaughter charges brought against them in Fairfax County in the 2017 shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar.

Federal prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges. A Fairfax County prosecutor then obtained indictments for involuntary manslaughter.

Local and state prosecutors say the officers can’t claim immunity when their conduct was unreasonable.


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Lawyers for two U.S. Park Police officers are hoping to persuade a federal judge their clients have immunity from local prosecutors’ efforts to charge them with manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed motorist in 2017.

A hearing is scheduled Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in the case against officers Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya.

The two shot and killed 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar of McLean after a stop-and-go chase outside the nation’s capital. Federal prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges.

A Fairfax County prosecutor then obtained indictments against the pair for involuntary manslaughter, but lawyers for Vinyard and Amaya say their status as federal officers gives them immunity from local prosecution.

For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form