NIAC Demands Transparency From DOJ in Bijan Ghaisar Police Shooting
This morning, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sent a letter to United States Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III and United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, urging them to release 911 calls from November 17, 2017, the night 25 year-old unarmed Iranian American Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police officers.
It has been 131 days since Bijan was shot and killed by police, despite being unarmed and posing no imminent threat to the public or officers’ safety. There are still a wide range of unanswered questions surrounding the shooting, and routine public information that is normally released to victims’ families and the public have been shrouded in secrecy in this case. The Ghaisar family, for example, still does not even know the names of the officers that shot and killed their son.
On March 19, 2018, rather than taking a step toward transparency and accountability to restore public trust in law enforcement and local government, the U.S. Department of Justice doubled down on stonewalling the Ghaisar family by lodging formal objections to the release of any 911 calls surrounding the violent killing of Bijan.
As the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization in the United States, NIAC takes seriously our duty to forcefully advocate for and defend the Iranian-American community against civil rights violations, discriminatory policies, and unequal treatment.
Bijan Ghaisar was unarmed, presented no threat, and should have made it home to his family the evening of November 17, 2017. Instead, he was shot three times in the head and once in the wrist at close range by U.S. Park Police.
The Ghaisar family, with the full force of NIAC and the entire Iranian-American community behind them, demand the immediate release of these 911 calls consistent with the transparency and accountability we rightfully expect from local and federal government – because #WeAreBijan.