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State Attorney Clears FBI Agent Who Shot Ibragim Todashev


March 25th, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando- An investigation into the fatal shooting of a Chechen man during an FBI interrogation in Orlando has found none of the officers were at fault. Ibragim Todashev was being questioned about his association with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The inside of Ibragim Todashev's apartment, as seen from the backyard space, on March 23, 2014. Photo: Carmel Delshad | WMFE.

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This morning State Attorney Jeff Ashton released his report into the shooting, which occurred on May 22 last year as agents from the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police were talking to Todashev at his Orlando apartment.

According to the report, the agents had traveled to Orlando to question Todashev about a triple murder in Massachusetts in 2011.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was implicated in that murder.

In a letter to FBI Director James Comey released with the 160 page report, Ashton said the actions of the special agent were justified in self-defense.

Ashton's letter says agents talked to Todashev for four and a half hours, in a "discussion that eventually lead Mr. Todashev to admit some involvement in the triple homicide that was under investigation."

After Todashev agreed to write a statement detailing his involvement in the murders, one of the officers noted a change to Mr. Todashev's demeanor. 

According to Ashton, while none of the agents in the room were directly observing Todashev, he flipped over a coffee table, hitting the FBI agent in the head, and advanced at them with a pole of some sort.

The FBI agent fired up to four shots, hitting Todashev, who sprung towards the officers in “a low angled lunge.”

The next three to four shots from the FBI agent killed Todashev.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it still has questions about the fatal shooting of a Chechen man by an FBI agent in Orlando. 

“But even in light of the information in this report, the central question of whether the killing of Mr. Todashev was justified remains frustratingly unanswered,” says ACLU spokesman Baylor Johnson. 

The ACLU plans to push for further investigation by the Massachusetts State Attorney and the Department of Justice. 

In his conclusion, Ashton writes that Todashev was “at his core a fearless fighter”, and that “perhaps… he simply reverted to that basic aspect of his personality and chose to go down fighting.”

Ashton says there is no evidence the FBI agent committed intentional misconduct, and criminal charges against him are unwarranted. 

WMFE's Carmel Delshad also contributed to this report.

 

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