Federal officers seek to block shooting trial in state court


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on whether Virginia prosecutors can bring manslaughter charges against two U.S. Park Police officers accused of fatally shooting an unarmed motorist in 2017.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano obtained indictments last year against officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard in the shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar, 25, of McLean, after a stop-and-go chase on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near the nation’s capital.

Descano indicted the pair after the Justice Department opted against filing criminal charges.

But the officers are seeking to have the case removed from state jurisdiction, citing their status as federal officers.

Descano and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed joint briefs arguing that the local prosecution should be allowed to proceed.

After months of inaction, a hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in front of Judge Claude Hilton.

Ghaisar’s family has long decried the years of inaction by federal prosecutors; they say justice demands that the officers be held accountable.

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