The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting of Ibragim Todashev by an FBI agent in Orlando two weeks ago.
"What needs to happen, because there has been so much contradictory information released, is an independent and transparent investigation," Michael German, senior policy counsel in the ACLU's legislative office told the Sentinel on Wednesday "Even if mistakes were made, they can be acknowledged and the community can feel that the system is working in the right direction."
According to the FBI, during the early morning hours of May 22 an FBI agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other unidentified law-enforcement personnel were interviewing Todashev, 27, in "connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual."
Anonymous law enforcement sources have leaked various pieces of information to different media outlets since the shooting in the 6000 block of Peregrine Ave.
"What became concerning is that different stories we were coming out," German said. "They need to correct the record — both for the protection of the people in the community and for the protection of the law enforcement officers."
German was an FBI agent for 16 years before joining the ACLU in 2006.
Federal law-enforcement sources told the Tribune Washington bureau that Todashev was being questioned about a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham, Mass.
"Typically you don't see a lot of information leaking out like you do in this case," German said. "Information coming out bit by bit causes speculation and anxiety in the community."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Florida chapter on May 29 cited unnamed sources within the FBI as saying Todashev was not armed at the time of the shooting.
The FBI released a statement the same day saying "The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such, we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally. The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances."
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer did not respond to requests for comment. Local law enforcement officials said the FBI was the lead investigator for the shooting.
The FBI said Wednesday that it did not have any new information to release. Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice were not immediately available to comment.
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