Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Boston Maraton bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was unarmed when an FBI agent shot and killed him last week. An advocacy group now wants an independent civil rights investigation into Todashev’s death.
Todashev, 27, also a native of Chechnya, knew both Tamerlane Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar. A legal resident of the U.S. since about 2008, he was being questioned by an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers at his home in Orlando, Fla., on May 21. A Bureau statement said Todashev was killed when a “violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.”
Law enforcement officials told the Washington Post Wednesday that Todashev did not have a gun or knife when he was shot and killed by the FBI.
Hassan Shibly, spokesman for the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Tampa, is demanding the Department of Justice probe the circumstances behind Todashev’s shooting. Shibly, executive director of CAIR-Tampa, wants to know if excessive force was used.
"Our call for an independent investigation of this disturbing incident is not just about the victim and his family, but is also about constitutional rights and the rule of law," he said.
Speaking anonymously, law enforcement officials say Todashev was a suspect in a triple murder that took place in Waltham, Mass., on Sept. 11, 2011. Three men were found dead in an apartment, their throats slit and marijuana thrown on their bodies.
His death was declared a homicide by the medical examiner.
Investigators say the probe could last months.
“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,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement Wednesday. “The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”