Coming up on the two year anniversary of the Boston Bombing, the family of an Orlando man who was a former friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, files a $30 million dollar lawsuit against the bureau, following their sons death at the hands of an F.B.I. agent with a questionable background.
By Jacob Engels
On the heels of the Boston Bombing, authorities were scrambling to find out what had happened, how and who was involved. One angle led authorities to question Orlando resident Ibragim Todashev, who was a former friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Both Todashev and Tsarnaev lived in the Boston area and had been involved in the Mixed Martial Arts community, both training at a local gym in Massachusetts. Todashev was a former amateur boxer who had recently transferred over to MMA, and was described by his former MMA training partner as a gifted, yet sometimes hotheaded athlete.
Prior to the events surrounding the Boston Bombing in 2013, Todashev was loosely tied to a triple homicide involving Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, a connection that ultimately led the F.B.I. to question Mr. Todashev following the bombing. He was never formally charged or prosecuted.
Then, on May 22nd, 2013, over a month after the Boston Bombing, special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with several officers with the Maryland State Police sought to question Ibradigm at his residence about his friendship and contact with Tamerlan Tsanaraev. A month prior to the interrogation, Todashev had been released on bond after a physical dispute over a parking spot.
The interrogation, which lasted nearly six hours, ended in the shooting death of Ibradigm Todashev, lead by F.B.I. special agent Aaron McFarlane. Shot three times in the back, three times in the chest and once in the head, his death has been the subject of widespread speculation.
Local, national and international news publications have claimed that the officers involved in the incident may have overreacted or falsified information surrounding the circumstances and moments leading up to the agents discharging their weapons and ultimately killing the 27 year-old Russian immigrant.
It was later revealed that the lead agent, Aaron McFarlane had faced multiple investigations and lawsuits during his time as a police officer with the Oakland Police Department. He was investigated and sued for falsifying evidence and police brutality.
Following the death of Ibragim Todashev, his father, a local government official in Russia, announced that he was preparing to pursue legal action against the F.B.I. for the death of his son.
After almost two years of investigative and legal research, Ibragim’s father Abduldaki Todashev remains committed to finding out what exactly happened on May 22nd, 2013 and curious as to why an F.B.I. agent with a checkered past would be assigned to handle such a high profile case.
According to a document, exclusively obtained by the East Orlando Post, Ibragim’s father has partnered with the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to sue the F.B.I. for the wrongful death of his son and to call attention to the hiring practices of the bureau, specifically the ones that led them to employ McFarlane.
The notice of claim to the F.B.I. addresses McFarlane’s questionable background and examines the methods and implementation of interrogation practices used on May 22nd, 2013.
Hassan Shibly, Executive Director of CAIR Florida, said that they need about $200,000 to pursue the case and pay for legal expenses, and that he hopes to recover $30 million dollars from the F.B.I. as a result.
“Aaron McFarlane has been sued multiple times for falsifying evidence, beating up suspects and witnesses and came to Orlando threatening Muslims, giving them the option of becoming informants for the F.B.I. and spy on fellow Muslims or to detained by the agency. He made these threats to Ibradigm Todashev’s friends and Ibradigm before he killed him,” said Shibly in a video being used to encourage financial support for a crowdfunding campaign.
James Copenhaver, a former undercover agent with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando, who has also worked on numerous joint task forces with the F.B.I. and graduated at the top of their undercover training program, had this to say when we contacted him about the lawsuit and Todashev’s death.
“If you are conducting a non-custodial interview, which this appeared to be, the person has the right to stop the interview and walk away. Mr. Todashev interviewed with the agents for several hours before they became concerned about his alleged demeanor. Mr. Todashev had recently been arrested for assault and this would cause anyone act with an abundance of caution.
As always, law enforcement officers should be prepared for the worst when interrogating an individual. However, with the Mr. McFarlane’s history of alleged police brutality and falsifying of evidence, it begs to question whether or not he was the best person to be handling this investigation and if what he said occurred actually happened.” explained Copenhaver.
Inquiries about the lawsuit should be directed here, and we will update you with more information as we have it.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org