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Opinion Bijan Ghaisar’s family has one last hope for justice

Family members, friends and Virginia state officials hold a vigil for Bijan Ghaisar on Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial to mark the fifth anniversary of his fatal shooting by two U.S. Park Police officers. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

Regarding the Nov. 18 Metro article “Family of Bijan Ghaisar marks 5 years since killing”:

Bijan Ghaisar’s family has only one option remaining to get even a modicum of justice for their son’s death. It is their civil suit against the U.S. Park Police. Their case will be heard by the same judge, Claude M. Hilton, who dismissed the criminal case last year, saying, “The officers’ decision to discharge their firearms was necessary and proper under the circumstances and there is no evidence that the officers acted with malice, criminal intent or any improper motivation.”

How is it that Judge Hilton will hear the case, you ask? Isn’t his decision preordained? The article explained, “Now Hilton will rule on the Ghaisars’ civil case as well, after an error in the clerk’s office resulted in the criminal case being reassigned to him.” An error!

Despite overwhelming evidence that the officers killed Ghaisar, his family will be denied the last semblance of justice available to them because of an error. An error.

This error needs to be corrected by removing Judge Hilton from the case.

Justice is still possible if he is, and Ghaisar’s family might finally see something they have been denied for the past five years: justice.

John K. Bergen, Alexandria