Virginia Drops Appeal of Manslaughter Indictment


Virginia’s Attorney General Drops Appeal of Manslaughter Indictment Against U.S. Park Police Officers

On April 25, 2022, the Fourth Circuit dismissed Virginia’s appeal of the lower court’s dismissal of indictments against two U.S. Park Police Officers resulting from a 2017 shooting on the George Washington Parkway.

Following a two-year investigation by the FBI, the Department of Justice declined to charge the officers, finding that they acted in self-defense. HANNON LAW GROUP attorney Daniel Crowley defended both officers in a civil Bivens suit that was dismissed in August 2020.

The officers were later indicted by the Commonwealth of Virginia for manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. The firm represented one officer in the criminal case, which was removed to federal court and then dismissed. The district court said the Supremacy Clause prohibited the Commonwealth from prosecuting the federal officers.

Virginia appealed and nine states filed an amicus brief urging the Fourth Circuit to reinstate the indictments. Three former U.S. Attorney Generals and two law enforcement organizations filed an amicus in support of the officers.

On April 22, 2022, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares dropped the appeal. Citing the FBI investigation, AG Miyares said he “will not perpetuate the continued prosecution of two officers who were doing what they were trained to do under tremendously difficult circumstances.”

HANNON LAW GROUP will continue to fight against the officer’s proposed termination by the Department of the Interior. A related lawsuit against the federal government remains pending.