Washington, D.C. – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) issued the following statement in response to the release of video footage recorded by Fairfax County Police Department depicting the last moments of Bijan Ghaisar’s life before he was shot to death by officers.
“It is unacceptable that a young man who was the victim of a minor fender bender has been tragically shot and killed by three bullets to the head from police officers’ guns.
“The video released this morning, and what we know so far, certainly seem to indicate that officers repeatedly and aggressively charged towards Bijan Ghaisar’s vehicle looking for a confrontation and shot Bijan three times in the head at close range. The fact that officers did not use every tool at their disposal to de-escalate the situation and minimize the need for use of force exposes not only the glaring deficiency in training, but also what appears to be a wanton and reckless disregard for Bijan’s life. Nothing in the video justifies that this incident should have ended in a fatal shooting.
“This tragic incident comes at a dark time for an Iranian-American community that has been profiled, discriminated against, and targeted by policies and hateful rhetoric from the White House. Through policies like the Muslim Ban, Iranian Americans have been characterized as inherently dangerous and a threat to national security by the White House and other officials. This certainly calls into question whether Bijan Ghaisar was profiled because of his physical appearance and personalized “BIJAN” license plate...
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