Police killed an unarmed man-and this time the establishment took notice
January 12, 2019 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Still, more than 13 months later, the FBI remains silent. The victim, Bijan Ghaisar, was a 25-year old accountant killed by the U.S. Park Police on November 17, 2017, after leaving the scene of a minor traffic accident. The FBI is investigating. That is all that is publicly known.

It is not for lack of interest from what one might think would be influential forces. Despite the lack of new information, the Washington Post has covered the story heavily, and the Post Editorial Board has kept the case in the public eye, this month in The FBI must wake from its deep slumber on the death of Bijan Ghaisar, and previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, and previously. Don Beyer, who represents Ghaisar's district in the U.S. Congress, has pressed for information, unsuccessfully, as have Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. Then, in December, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley wrote to the FBI, asking for an update on the status of the investigation. The answer: yes, more silence.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some (18 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Where in the world do we live?

How can somebody’s child
be killed in this country
in this century
and nobody comes to talk to you?


What is that?”

from second link
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


A witness told The Post that two officers emerged from their car and began firing into Ghaisar’s Jeep. What, if anything, did he do to cause such a deadly reaction?

Police are trained to be terminally frightened and encouraged to act on their fear by firing their guns wildly at anything that moves, except white people. As they don't consider this a crime they don't think there's anything to answer for.
posted by bleep at 8:34 PM on January 12 [34 favorites]


What a strange and horrifying case. For the FBI to remain totally silent on this is really weird.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:03 PM on January 12


I'd be surprised if it was anymore than that "blue fraternity" bullshit they're always going on and on about. They think they're in a special brotherhood of being allowed to kill with impunity.
posted by bleep at 9:14 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


In my view, there are only three reasons why the FBI remains silent. One, they are incompetent and cannot figure it out themselves. Two, the investigation is still on-going and there is way more to this that meets the eye. Plausible but unlikely theories would include that the kid was a spy, the kid uncovered some information that the government does not want out, the fender bender was a sham and part of the plot to get the kid, etc. Three, these two park police are really bad people and the FBI is covering it up.

To defy the head of the judiciary committee is pretty high level insubordination. I think there is way way more to this than good all-american kid flees a fender bender, flees two park police at low speed and then has at least three bullets pumped into his head. I think the FBI will eventually either hand over to the DA enough evidence to charge these two blue murderers or will produce a classified report that only a handful of people will ever see. His parents will be given some vague information about all they cannot be told and all their son was involved in that they cannot go into. Grassley will be given a copy of the report and will fall in line saying he is satisfied although frustrated that he cannot say more.

At some point, the police video will have to be released to the WaPo under the FOIL laws. Even the Chicago video was eventually released. It might take another year. I hope (and expect) that the Post will not let this drop. They will pursue it until they get some answers.

BUT, until information is released, it certainly looks like a cover up. Now, we must presume a cover up until proven otherwise. Even Donald Trump knows the FBI cannot be trusted.
posted by AugustWest at 11:43 PM on January 12 [6 favorites]


Aren't the Park Police the organization that Trump tried to pressure into declaring that the Trump inauguration crowds were actually larger than the Obama crowds despite every possible known to humans appearance to the contrary?
posted by jamjam at 12:52 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


AugustWest, the Fairfax County Police already released one video of the execution here (link is to an article describing the video, video is embedded at the top if you really want to see it). I think another possibility is that they just aren't investigating at all.
posted by mattamatic at 3:43 AM on January 13 [3 favorites]


.
posted by limeonaire at 6:09 AM on January 13


"Even Donald Trump knows the FBI cannot be trusted."

Well, yes, the FBI cannot be trusted. But he has this opinion because he is the subject of an FBI investigation.

/derail.
posted by el io at 11:43 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


What happened to those two members of the U.S. Park Police? Were they reprimanded? Are they still in their position? like just nothing happened? Do they still remain armed risking more posible damage?
posted by CRESTA at 11:57 AM on January 13


The way the family has been treated is unbelievable.

Youtube represents this as the Fairfax County PD video of (nighttime) chase and execution. (Warn: you may be upset.)
posted by Twang at 1:13 PM on January 13


Police are trained to be terminally frightened and encouraged to act on their fear by firing their guns wildly at anything that moves, except white people. As they don't consider this a crime they don't think there's anything to answer for.

I wouldn't have posted this if I didn't think it was concerning. The blue wall of silence and they difficulty of holding police accountable for their crimes is a serious and common problem, and there are plenty of racist cops.

Still, remember that there are thousands of police departments and close to a million officers in the United States. Many or most of them are decent people. Many are well trained - and we need more who are.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:56 PM on January 13


Police are trained to be terminally frightened and encouraged to act on their fear by firing their guns wildly at anything that moves, except white people. As they don't consider this a crime they don't think there's anything to answer for.

I'm the last person to be an apologist for outlaw cops murdering civilians (see my posting history), which is what this is, but I'll propose that the issue is a bit more complex than cops with a fear factor:

We live in a country with next to no gun control, so any random person can obtain a gun and if they're just crazy enough, walk up to a police officer with no reason and kill them, as happened in Davis, CA last week. Cops have a reason to be afraid. It's never an excuse for acting like they did in this case, but the problem is more complex than their fear alone.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:32 AM on January 14


I'd be interested in hearing from cops. Are cops being trained that they should fire if they have any reason at all to fear a civilian? And are cops being trained that once they start shooting they should make absolutely 100% sure the civilian is dead? The theory being that dead people can't testify against cops?

That's the impression I get from the results. I never read about someone being shot twice by a cop. Most people cease to be a serious threat to anyone after a couple of bullets to center mass, but I only read about cops firing All The Bullets.
posted by Native in Exile at 8:07 PM on January 14


How Police Training Contributes to Avoidable Deaths

Ex-Marine fired for not shooting


Yes there are way too many guns around but the answer to that isn't "Cops can be required to shoot to kill whenever they're scared", the solution is "We need cops to be way less scared than they are" i.e. get rid of the guns.
posted by bleep at 8:39 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


"We need cops to be way less scared and racist than they are" is what that should say.
posted by bleep at 8:40 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Not a cop, but...

I'd be interested in hearing from cops. Are cops being trained that they should fire if they have any reason at all to fear a civilian?

Cops are often not trained in deescalation techniques. Instead techniques are designed to get people they encounter uneasy or unsettled so they can be more easily manipulated. Unfortunately, uneasy can also mean irrational. Thus more likely to engage physically against the police. This is one of the biggest problems we face with police tactics: police engage in military-style aggression without learning the deescalation learned by soldiers who engage in urban combat.

Also, often police enter a scene with events in progress. They thus operate on limited information because all they know is what the radio told them. Often, when there are multiple officers responding, it's not the first officer there who fires the first shot. It's the second, third, or fourth. But once combat is engaged, from anyone, you finish the combat and then sort out who did what afterward.

And are cops being trained that once they start shooting they should make absolutely 100% sure the civilian is dead?


Police are trained that if you're going to fire your gun, it's because you're killing someone. That's why it's called a lethal weapon. So you shoot center mass. You don't shoot them in the arm. Now you've just got someone who's even more pissed and with more incentive to attack you.

In short, failures by police are less often about maliciousness and more about failure to train police properly. This doesn't mean that all failures are about that. (The less said about police hiring practices, the better.)
posted by parliboy at 7:27 AM on January 15


This is one of the biggest problems we face with police tactics: police engage in military-style aggression without learning the deescalation learned by soldiers who engage in urban combat.

There was a recent story about a cop who had been trained in deescalation techniques as part of his military deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan, and then when he came back and used them as a policeman, his partner lost his mind, said he couldn't possibly trust anyone who wouldn't automatically start firing at the first sign of trouble, and eventually got him fired. In other words, they're not only not trained in deescalation, they're functionally encouraged to escalate immediately and violently by other cops and the social forces at play.

And speaking of training, my understanding is that most cops don't even have mandatory firearms training after they're hired, with the result that most are abysmal shots. It's honestly a miracle that more innocent bystanders aren't hit by the ludicrous numbers of bullets that cops routinely fire in basically any given incident because they're, as a group, inept at effectively using the guns they've been issued.
posted by Copronymus at 2:30 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


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