In an interview with the FBI, a suspect becomes agitated. He lunges at an agent and throws the table with enough force that it slices into the officer’s skin. After the start of the physical confrontation, the murder suspect continues to escalate and threaten the safety of the agent as he grabs a weapon. At some point during this exchange, the agent was pushed far enough that he reacted with deadly force. This may seem like something out of the next big action movie, but this was a real world scenario that unfolded four years ago in a Florida FBI office.
Ibragim Todashev was shot and killed that day after admitting to his part in the murder of three people months before. According to aabout the incident:
“Beginning May 21, 2013, during questioning from the FBI, Todashev admitted to his and Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s involvement in a triple murder that took place in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 11, 2011, well over a year prior to the Boston bombing. The three victims, who were all Jewish, had their throats so violently slashed that they were nearly decapitated.
According to witness reports, following his confession, Todashev, a former mixed martial artist, became enraged and hurled a coffee table at the FBI agent conducting the interview, Aaron McFarlane, giving the agent a gash on his head which he would receive stitches for. Todashev then allegedly lunged at the agent with a metal pole, to which the agent responded by opening fire on him. Todashev, once again, attempted to attack, before dying, shortly after midnight, with six shots to the torso and one to the head.”
Even with ties to terrorist suspect Tsarnaev and after admitting to committing a triple murder, it seems some within the community feel as if Todashev is innocent. Four years after he was killed by FBI agent McFarlane, the family of Todashev has filed a. The lawsuit is being handled by lawyers from CAIR. As a news report about the organization reminds us:
“The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is associated in large part with terrorism. The group has its roots in terrorism; it has helped finance terrorism; it co-sponsors rallies promoting terrorism; and it has lost, through deportation and incarceration, a number of officials who have been involved in and/or linked to terrorism. Given CAIR’s terror-related history, as well as the group’s appetite for generating lawsuits, it makes sense that CAIR would provide legal defense to someone who is also related to terror, someone like Ibragim Todashev, who is linked to the perpetrators of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.”
While the lawyers from CAIR want the general public to see Todashev as the victim, in this case, this idea is a bit too hard to swallow. Given the fact that he was trained as a fighter and an admitted murderer, he was well-equipped to do mortal harm to the agent interviewing him. This was not a case of an agent over-reacting.
After a full investigation, the FBI concluded this was a justifiable use of force. As the Florida State Attorney’s Office explained, “…the totality of the circumstances at the time of this incident… the use of deadly force by the FBI Agent on May 22, 2013, was reasonable and justified, and therefore, lawful.”
The US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division echoed these findings in their report:
“[T] he evidence does not reveal a violation of the applicable federal criminal civil rights statutes or warrant further federal criminal investigation of the May 22, 2013 death of Ibragim Todashev, who was shot in an Orlando, Florida apartment by an FBI Agent during the investigation of Todashev’s role in a 2011 Walthan, Massachusetts triple homicide.”
Without any real evidence of unreasonable force, it is not clear why CAIR has stepped in to help the family sue. There was a clear threat to the life of the FBI agent who ended up killing Todashev. He was also directly tied to both the Boston Bombing suspect and a gruesome tripled murder the two carried out together. Whatever the reasoning behind stepping into help the family sue for wrongful death, it seems yet again that the lawyers from CAIR have put them selves on the wrong side of the law.
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