Report Says FBI Justified In Shooting Bombing Suspect’s Friend
BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A Florida prosecutor says a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects threatened an FBI agent and a Massachusetts state trooper with a long pole before the Chechen man was fatally shot.
State Attorney Jeff Ashton said in a report Tuesday the agent was justified in shooting Ibragim Todashev last May.
Read: State Attorney’s Letter
The agent and the trooper were questioning Todashev about his involvement in a triple slaying in Waltham, Mass. Todashev was preparing a written statement confessing some involvement when he threw a coffee table on the officers and ran past them.
The report says Todashev was searching for something in his kitchen, and he returned carrying a pole over his head. He was then shot by the agent. According to the report Todashev was shot three times, fell to his knees and lunged at the officers. An officer then shot him four more times, resulting in his death.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
“My conclusion, based upon the facts presented to me in this investigation, is that the actions of the Special Agent of the FBI were justified in self-defense and in defense of another,” the report states. “Therefore, a complete review of the investigation leads me to conclude that criminal charges against the Special Agent of the FBI are not warranted, and that the Office of the State Attorney’s review of this incident is complete.”
According to a second report released Tuesday, the Justice Department has reached the same conclusion.
Officials initially said Todashev had lunged at an agent with a knife while being questioned. Later, they said it was no longer clear what happened.
A statement from the Council On American-Islamic Relations raises questions about what led to the shooting.
“It is important to note that the prosecutor’s review was limited to a very narrow review of whether the officer was justified to use lethal force during the seconds he pulled the trigger. It does not explore or analyze the documented pattern of gross civil rights abuse which we have documented occurring before, during, and after the interrogation of Mr. Todashev. Nor does the report exonerate the agents of any negligence or wrongdoing on their part which could have avoided the death of a suspect in questioning,” the statement said.
CAIR says they have “several concerns” and see “key inconsistencies” that leave questions unanswered.
“The FBI’s history, past abuse by law enforcement, and our own independent investigation have led us to question the original narrative which can no longer be taken at face value. The only person who can contradict the government’s narrative is now dead and the investigation into his death relied on evidence fathered by agents of the same agency involved in his death,” CAIR said in a statement.
Mike Kortan, FBI Assistant Director released a statement Tuesday afternoon thanking the Department of Justice and the Florida State Attorney’s Office for the investigation.
“To emphasize, these prosecutorial decisions were made independent of the FBI. In addition to these reports, the FBI is currently conducting our own internal review process known as the Shooting Incident Review Group (SIRG). The SIRG has met on this matter and found the shooting was consistent with the DOJ deadly force policy. The SIRG will continue to consider ways to improve agent safety and training.”
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