(TAMPA, FL, 5/14/14) -- The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the state attorney's office and the FBI seeking investigations of the history of substantial allegations of official corruption, misconduct, abuse, and civil rights violations made against the FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev.
CAIR-FL is seeking to determine why state and federal investigations failed to mention that the FBI agent who killed Todashev had a history of legal settlements and allegations against him regarding misconduct under color of law.
CAIR-FL's letters document how the FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev had an apparent history of serious allegations of police misconduct, including having:
- falsified police reports;
- lied under oath;
- battered and falsely imprisoned an individual;
- made false arrests;
- violated the rights of suspects;
- engaged in assault with a weapon;
- engaged in aggravated battery.
The letter to the DOJ by CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly stated in part:
"How do we know that the officer and FBI agent did not engage in misconduct that ultimately led to the killing of Ibragim Todashev?
"How can we trust DOJ and state attorney investigations, that relied heavily on testimony given by individuals who may have engaged in police misconduct, civil rights abuse, and evidence falsification, are fair, accurate, and thorough, particularly when the DOJ's and state attorney's investigations make no mention of the questionable history of the officer and agent involved?"
The letter to Florida State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton, who conducted an investigation into the shooting incident, also stated:
"Please clarify if you knew about the history of the strong allegations of abuse against the FBI agent levied when he was an Oakland PD officer. If you did not, please clarify how this information was missed by your office and what potential impact it may have had on the investigation and the validity of the conclusions. If you did know, please clarify how such important information regarding the history of allegations of corruption and abuse by the FBI agent were omitted, when you did not fail to omit research into the history of negative allegations against Mr. Todashev."
The letter to the FBI stated:
"Did the FBI know about the allegations of corruption, abuse, and falsifying evidence against the FBI agent who shot Mr. Todashev when they hired him?
"If the FBI did not know about the agent's history, how can we trust that the FBI is doing a competent and thorough job when hiring agents on whom the liberty and security of our nation depends?"
The letters also stated:
"Regardless of what the answers are-one thing is clear, the DOJ must undertake serious policy changes to ensure that investigations involving FBI shootings are thorough, reports are complete, and individuals with questionable histories are not entrusted with sensitive positions.
"Note the fact that the history of allegations of corruption against the FBI agent are not in the DOJ's or state attorney's report on the shooting of Mr. Todashev is only the beginning of many serious concerns, questions, and inconsistencies we have found in the DOJ's and State's reports, more of which will be released at the appropriate time."
CAIR-Florida's legal team has been analyzing the SAO's investigative report and comparing it with the findings of our own independent investigation, the findings of which will be released as appropriate.
CAIR-FL had been aware of the questionable history of the FBI agent for several months but did not publicly release any such information to avoid jeopardizing any possible government investigations. However, in light of the identity of the agent recently being made public and the failure of the federal or state prosecutors to explore his questionable history, CAIR-FL felt it appropriate to publicly demand answers to the above questions at this time.
CAIR-FL is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, firstname.lastname@example.org