Federal court claims jurisdiction over fatal Park Police shooting of Bijan Ghaisar

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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)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has placed the prosecution of two U.S. Park Police officers accused of fatally shooting unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar in Fairfax, Virginia under federal jurisdiction.

State and local prosecutors argued unsuccessfully at a hearing Friday in federal court that the involuntary manslaughter cases against officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard should remain in state court.

Fairfax County prosecutor Steve Descano obtained indictments last year against Amaya and Vinyard in the 2017 shooting death of 25-year-old Ghaisar after a stop-and-go chase on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near the nation’s capital. The officers argue their status as federal officers gives them immunity from state prosecution.

The shooting, captured on dashcam video, occurred on November 17, 2017 when Ghaisar drove away multiple times during a traffic stop. On the third stop, Ghaisar was shot nine times at close range. He died on the way to the hospital.

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