Has the FBI agent who shot Todashev really been cleared?


Throughout the day on Friday, there were widespread reports that both the FBI and Florida prosecutors had cleared the FBI agent who shot Ibragim Todashev.

But on Friday afternoon, The Guardian reported that Jeff Ashton, the Florida state attorney, was disputing those reports and saying the case required more review. From The Guardian:

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Ashton's spokesman said he had completed his investigation but would make a final decision on how to proceed over the weekend. A review, by the civil rights division of the Department of Justice, is also understood to be complete.

Ashton issued an angrily worded statement on Friday after media reports claimed he had decided not to charge the officer, saying the leaks on which they were based were "inaccurate and unfair."

Ashton’s statement came after several news outlets reported the agent had been definitively cleared.

The Washington Post reports:

A Florida prosecutor has ruled that an FBI agent was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a Chechen man connected to two brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing.

A report on the FBI’s fatal shooting of Todashev, a Chechen man linked to the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, will be released on Tuesday. The report will contain the results of Florida state attorney Jeff Aston’s investigation into the incident.

The Boston Globe reports:

The Florida prosecutor's report was the only independent investigation into the shooting of Todashev, a mixed-martial arts fighter with a violent criminal record and a friend of Tsarnaev, one of two brothers suspected of planting deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon last year.

The 27-year-old was fatally shot by FBI agents during an interrogation in Orlando on May 22. He was being questioned in his home about his friendship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Associated Press reported.

Officials originally said the 27-year-old lunged at an agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 20, are suspected of planting two bombs close to the Marathon finish line on April 15 that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an aspiring boxer, was killed in a shootout with police several days after the bombings.

According to the Orlando Sentinel:

During the interview, Todashev said Tsarnaev had been involved in a triple homicide in Massachusetts before the April 15, 2013 bombing that killed 3 and injured more than 250, according to documents filed in federal court in Boston.

The Associated Press reports:

In that case, three men were found in an apartment with their necks slit and their bodies reportedly covered with marijuana. One of the victims was a boxer and friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Todashev was a mixed-martial arts fighter who previoulsy lived in Massashusetts. Those close to him have questioned the FBI’s account of the shooting and said they don’t believe Todashev did anything wrong.