FBI Sued Over Death of Tsarnaev Friend

'No authority is above the law,' rights group says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 3, 2015 12:10 AM CST
This May 4, 2013, police booking photo provided by the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Fla., shows Ibragim Todashev after an arrest for aggravated battery.   (AP Photo/Orange County Corrections Department, File)

(Newser) – Leaders of a civil rights group say they plan to sue the FBI for $30 million on behalf of the family of a Chechen man who was fatally shot while being questioned about a Boston Marathon bombing suspect. The Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida filed a notice stating its intention to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the FBI over the death of Ibragim Todashev. CAIR officials said they hope the lawsuit forces the FBI to change aspects of its hiring practices, where it interrogates people, and how it investigates its agents, who are rarely disciplined for such shootings. The group says the agent who shot Todashev was sued for police brutality before he was hired by the FBI, and that Todashev should have been questioned in a controlled environment, rather than his apartment.

"The organization hopes that the suit will bring justice for the Todashev family," a CAIR spokesman says. "It is a point of American pride that no authority is above the law. We have the freedom to question our government and hold our law enforcement accountable." An FBI spokesman refused to comment. Todashev was killed at his Orlando, Fla., apartment about a month after the April 15, 2013, bombings while being interviewed by agents looking into bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Prosecutors investigated the shooting and decided not to file charges. They said in a report that Todashev had been cooperative with investigators, but he became agitated as he wrote a statement about his role in the 2011 killings of three men in Waltham, Mass.

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