Advocacy Group: Launch Civil Rights Probe into FBI Shooting of Ibragim Todashev
May 31, 2013 | WMFE - An advocacy group is formally requesting an independent federal investigation into the death of a Chechen immigrant who was shot by an FBI agent in Orlando while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
[Image: Ibragim Todashev]
Hassan Shibly, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida chapter, says the organization is asking the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division to open a probe into the details of 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev’s death.
“We’re not accusing any agents of anything, we just have a lot of questions and we’re looking for answers,” says Shibly. “There are two major issues we’re looking into. One is, was that individual, who was not convicted of any crime before he was killed – or not even formally charged with committing any crime – were his constitutional rights violated? And secondly, was excessive force used against him?”
Shibly says CAIR has received information that raises questions about the shooting, including reports from friends that they were prevented from seeing Todashev and that he was questioned alone for about five hours before the shooting. One of Todashev’s friends also provided photos he said he’d taken of Todashev’s body at a funeral home that appear to show Todashev had been shot seven times, once in the back of the head, according to Shibly. Additionally, Shibly says a source within the FBI reported that Todashev was unarmed when he was shot.
The FBI has not responded directly to these claims. The agency did release a statement saying in part that a shooting incident review team is working on the case, adding, “While this internal review process is occurring, we cannot comment regarding investigative details.”
The statement concludes, “The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such, we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally. The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.” Read the statement in its entirety here.
In the wake of the May 22nd shooting, Central Florida FBI representatives said Todashev was shot and killed in an Orlando apartment after he initiated a “violent confrontation” during questioning by a Boston-based FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers about his ties to slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.