An unidentified FBI agent who used deadly force against Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen man who had ties to the Tsarnaev brothers, was cleared by a Florida prosecutor, according to the Washington Post. State prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton announced that he would make his findings public on Tuesday.
Almost a year after Todashev's death, there are still more questions than answers for the circumstances surrounding the shooting. We know that Todashev was friends with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers accused in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. And the FBI believed Todashev might have information on a possibly linked triple murder. They went to Florida to interrogate him. The interrogation in his home lasted for several hours, until Todashev was apparently giving signs that he was ready to confess to a role in the 2011 slaying. And that's where things get complicated. Law enforcement officials have given conflicting accounts of what made a peaceful interview end with someone's death. Officially, the FBI has said that the agent shot Todashev several times in self defense.
The Florida investigation was prompted in part because of those conflicting accounts, which include a dispute over whether the suspect was armed or not at the time of the shooting. The full report will go public about a week after Boston Magazine published a deep dive into the murder FBI agents connected to Todashev and the Boston bombing suspects. Essentially, the piece asks whether a better investigation of the triple murder (assumed to be a drug deal gone wrong at the time) could have stopped the Boston Marathon bombings from happening in the first place.
The FBI has already cleared the agent of any wrongdoing in its own probe of the incident, the Post adds. That FBI report is still being reviewed by the Department of Justice; it looks like they will also clear the agent of any wrongdoing.