TAMPA, Fla. - The father of a Chechen man who was shot to death during an FBI interrogation in Orlando met with the region's chief federal prosecutor in Tampa on Wednesday, just one day after his meeting with State Attorney Jeff Ashton.
With the help of an interpreter, Abdulbaki Todashev spoke to us just minutes after his closed-door meeting with U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley.
"For the last two days, just like every day since Ibragim's death, the events of that night have not left my head. They've not left my mind," Todashev said.
Todashev and his team of lawyers spent more than an hour inside the U.S. Attorney's Office discussing the investigation of his son's death. Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed in his Orlando home on May 22 during an interrogation by the FBI about his relationship with Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Todashev's attorneys claim the FBI shot the 27-year-old while he was unarmed and disabled from a knee injury. They say Todashev attended the same MMA gym in Boston as Tsarnaev. They claim the two were just acquaintances and not friends.
"As all young people do, they have many many telephone numbers and contacts in their phones, but that doesn't necessarily connect them with evil activity conducted by other people," Todashev's attorney Eric Ludin said.
Todashev believes his son was killed unjustly. His lawyers said he spoke with Bentley at length about information his son had relayed to him before he was killed about his experiences with the FBI. Ludin said Bentley expressed his condolences to Todashev and also "his sincere concern about the investigation."
At times, the meeting turned emotional.
"Mr. Todashev has an extremely difficult time talking about the loss of his son without becoming emotional," said Ludin.
On Tuesday, Todashev met with the state attorney overseeing an investigation into any possible criminal wrongdoing in the case. State Attorney Jeff Ashton assured Todashev that his office and the Dept. of Justice were conducting their own individual criminal investigations into the FBI's interrogation and shooting of his son, but there was no timetable for when they would be completed.
Todashev's attorneys agreed to allow the criminal investigation to run its course before making a decision on civil action.
CAIR-FL has also hired independent investigators to look into this case.
"We are really conducting an investigation to see if his civil rights were violated, was an excessive, unlawful use of force used against him, and how can we protect other Americans from having to worry about getting killed by federal officers," said Hassan Shibly, director of the Council on Islamic American Relations Florida, "This is about protecting due process of all Americans."
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