Advocacy group calls for probe into FBI shooting death of man tied to Boston bomber

By Shaun Chaiyabhat, Reporter, schaiyabhat@clickorlando.com
Published On: May 29 2013 04:11:40 PM EDT
Updated On: May 30 2013 07:39:46 AM EDT

An advocacy group is demanding a civil rights investigation into the death of a man who was shot to death by authorities while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

The Florida chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations is calling for an independent investigation into the death of local man, a Chechen immigrant, who was believed to be tied to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

On Wednesday, CAIR-FL, Ibragim Todashev's widow and a friend who was with him during the interrogation called for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division to investigate 27-year-old Todashev's death.

An agent shot and killed Todashev last week inside his Orlando apartment after what the FBI called a "violent confrontation."

"They took my husband away from me. There is nothing that can be done anymore," said Todashev's widow, Reni Manukyan, as she fought back tears.

Now, Todashev's family admits he may have pushed a table at investigators, starting that violent confrontation, however, they say he was not armed.

"We have confirmed through senior sources within the FBI that Ibragim was indeed unarmed when he was shot 7 times, once in the head, what appears to be even in the back of the head," said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly. "The only thing which could be construed as a weapon was basically a model sword that was on the wall and that was there in the interview room for 5 hours almost without incident."

The FBI said an agent and two Massachusetts State Police officers shot Todashev during an interview about his connection to Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Sources have said the two men were also involved in an unsolved triple homicide two years ago in Waltham, Massachusetts, but Manukyan said joint bank statements prove Todashev was with her in Atlanta at the time of the 2011 slayings.

"Our call for an independent investigation of this disturbing incident is not just about the victim and his family, but is also about constitutional rights and the rule of law," said Shibly.

The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide, said the group. Local 6's Shaun Chaiyabhat viewed pictures taken from inside the morgue showing what appeared to be several gunshot wounds.

The FBI has not clarified any details about the case. An emailed requesting comment on the pending independent investigation was referred to the Department of Justice.

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