Federal court claims jurisdiction over Park Police shooting

Virginia News

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 an unarmed motorist in 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 Bijan 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.

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