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Bipartisan Push in Congress for Answers in Park Police Shooting

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have joined the call for answers in the shooting of a Tysons man by U.S. Park Police in 2017.

Bijan Ghaisar, a 25-year-old, was shot on Nov. 17, 2017 by two U.S. Park Police who fired into his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Three days after the shooting, the FBI took over the investigation, but there’s been virtually no update on the case.

“We write today to once again request an update on the status of the Bijan Ghaisar investigation,” Grassley and Warner said in a joint letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The FBI has failed to provide information on this investigation, which has been ongoing since November 2017, to us, our colleagues, or the public. The FBI’s slow pace and lack of transparency are weakening the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

The letter notes that family members and the press have had to rely on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for simple details like whether or not Ghaisar had a weapon when he was killed — which he did not, according to FOIA documents obtained by Ghaisar’s family.

The senators are not the first to call for answers. Last November, on the anniversary of the shooting, the McLean Citizens Association also issued a resolution demanding answers.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) also pushed for answers in 2018. The Grassley and Warner letter notes the FBI has previously responded that it would not discuss an active investigation.

Grassley and Warner also sent a joint letter to Dan Smith, the acting director of the National Park Service, with questions about the agency’s policies on the use of force.

The letters to the FBI and NPS demand an update from both organizations no later than July 2.

Image via Fairfax County Police Department

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