Yesterday, the Florida state attorney’s office released a report clearing the FBI agent who fatally shot Ibragim Todashev of any wrongdoing. But, many questions still remain.
David Boeri of WBUR points to the “stunning” revelation that, in the course of his investigation, Florida State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton did not interview the FBI agent involved in the shooting.
"I was very insistent that I wanted my investigator to personally interview at least one of the two witnesses that were there, the Massachusetts state trooper, because I wanted it to be recorded and on the record."
Ashton did interview the Massachusetts state trooper in the apartment at the time of the altercation as well as the other state trooper, who was outside the apartment. But the agent who shot Todashev was not interviewed by the Florida state attorney’s office. Instead, Ashton had to rely on the agent’s sworn statements to the FBI. WBUR pointed out that even the FBI did not record an interview with its agent.
"There was a point at which I believe there was a negotiation, perhaps the agent sitting down with my investigator and the DOJ people for an unrecorded interview, and I basically said, "If it's not going to be recorded then I don?t want our investigator participating in it'."
Listen to the WBUR report:
Another WBUR report highlights more questions that remain after the release of Ashton’s 161-page report:
- Since all of the law enforcement officers were well aware of Todashev’s professional fighting experience and athleticism, why didn’t they insist on holding the interview in a secure location?
- What was the role of the Massaschusetts state police in the interrogation? Why were they there (for the 2011 triple homicide in Waltham or the Boston Marathon bombing), and under whose authority?
The Department of Justice released its own report yesterday, in which it “determined that the evidence does not reveal a violation of the applicable federal criminal civil rights statutes or warrant further federal criminal investigation.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has called on Martha Coakley to investigate the role of the Massachuetts state troopers in the interrogation of Todashev.
Todashev, 27, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot and killed by an FBI agent on May 22, 2013. He was being questioned by law enforcement officials in his Orlando home at the time.