An advocacy group is demanding a civil rights investigation into the death of Ibragim Todashev, who was fatally shot by authorities in an Orlando condo complex while being questioned about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombing suspect last week.
Hassan Shibly, the executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Wednesday that his group is asking the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division to open a probe into Todashev’s death, to determine if excessive force was used and whether his rights were violated.
The FBI says the 27-year-old Chechen immigrant was killed as he was being questioned by an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers about his ties to the slain bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts.
Todashev became violent as he was signing a written statement based on his confession to the triple murder and attacked the agent with a knife, according to the FBI.
Shibly, who is also acting as an attorney for Todashev’s family, gave a different account at a press conference Wednesday.
"We have confirmed through senior sources within the FBI that Ibragim was indeed unarmed when he was shot seven times," claimed Shibly, who said he did not obtain the information from direct sources.
Todashev’s family says he was shot multiple times, including once in the head.
Todashev's wife and mother-in-law said they were being questioned during the time that the FBI was meeting with Todashev.
"It was only questions about him being connected to the brothers Tsarnaev who were involved in the Boston bombings,” said Elbam Teyer, Todashev’s mother-in-law.
After several interviews with the FBI, Reni Manukyan said, her husband was under the belief he would no longer be questioned.
"They mention to him, that would be his last interview, they would not interview him anymore,” Manukyan said.
"Sure enough it did turn out to be his last interview, though not in any way we could have foreseen or imagined," Shibly said.
Manukyan said the only weapon in the home was a sword that had a broken handle, wasn't sharp and was only used for decorative purposes, and was hanging on the wall during the five-hour interrogation.
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