Florida Officials Refuse ACLU Request to Investigate FBI Shooting Death of Ibragim Todashev

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
July 31, 2013 12:00 am

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ACLU of Florida’s Howard Simon Calls FDLE’s Decision “Extremely Disappointing” in Light of Public Receiving “Limited in Formation” From Federal Authorities

July 31, 2013

CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

MIAMI – Today, in a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) declined to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, who was killed by law enforcement officers on May 22nd during a joint interrogation by FBI officials and local law enforcement officers from Massachusetts and Florida.

The ACLU of Florida and the ACLU of Massachusetts had called upon state officials in their respective states to launch independent investigations into the shooting death of Mr. Todashev. The short letter sent to the ACLU of Florida today by the FDLE claims that it “would be inappropriate for FDLE to intervene.”

The following statement on FDLE’s decision not to conduct an independent investigation may be attributed to Howard Simon, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida:

“It is extremely disappointing, given the incompatible and inconsistent explanations coming from the FBI, that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would defer to them, allowing the only investigation to be the FBI investigating itself. A person was killed at the hands of law enforcement in Florida, and our state’s government has chosen to evade their responsibility to explain to the people of Florida how that happened.

“If law enforcement officers from Florida were part of the investigation during which the shooting took place, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be a part of the investigation of the shooting itself, especially given the widely varying accounts in the very limited information coming from the FBI.

“Secrecy fosters suspicion, and the people of Florida deserve better than to be left without an explanation from their government about what led to a person being shot to death. This means it is more likely that the family of Ibragim Todashev will have to file a lawsuit in order to get answers about how their son died.

The letter sent by FDLE to the ACLU of Florida is available here.

More information about the shooting and the ACLU calls for investigation is available here.

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