A Florida prosecutor says he will release his final report Tuesday morning on the FBI’s fatal shooting of a Chechen man linked to the suspects in the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing.
The report is the only independent investigation into the May 22 slaying of Ibragim Todashev, 27, a mixed-martial arts fighter who used to live in Massachusetts and was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two brothers who allegedly planted the bombs at last year’s Marathon.
The FBI is also conducting its own investigation of the shooting, with the US Department of Justice, but civil liberties groups and Todashev’s father had called for an independent review, saying the bureau almost always exonerates its own agents. The FBI said in January that it had completed its inquiry into whether the use of deadly force was justified and was eager to release the results after the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division reviewed them. A timeline was not given.
For nearly a year, the shooting has been shrouded in secrecy. The FBI has said only that an agent shot Todashev in his Orlando apartment after Todashev initiated a violent confrontation during an interview with an agent and the Massachusetts State Police.
The bureau and officials in Florida have refused to release details about the slaying, including the autopsy findings. Anonymous sources have leaked conflicting accounts to the media, inflaming the controversy surrounding the death of Todashev. Some accounts said he was armed; others said he was not. The FBI has said that Todashev injured an agent.
Media reports also said Todashev was about to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in an unsolved triple homicide in Waltham. On Sept. 12, 2011, Brendan Mess, 24, who was a close friend of Tsarnaev, and two of his friends, Erik H. Weissman, 31, and Raphael M. Teken, 37, were found in Mess’s apartment with their throats slashed and bodies sprinkled with marijuana. At the time, their deaths were widely assumed to have been a drug deal gone bad.
Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki , has said that Todashev was a loving son who had not done anything wrong. He said he believes his son was unarmed and pointed out that he had voluntarily submitted to FBI questioning before agents showed up at his apartment that final time.
But Todashev also had fighting skills and a violent criminal record. He was arrested in 2010 in Boston for a road-rage incident and again in Florida, weeks before he was killed, for allegedly beating a man in a fight over a parking space.
The twin bombs that went off last April 15 near the Marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260 others. Tsarnaev was killed several days later in a shootout with police in Watertown. His brother, Dzhokhar , his alleged partner in the Marathon attack, is in federal custody facing a trial that could get him the death penalty.
The brothers also allegedly killed MIT police officer Sean Collier.
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