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Lawyers: Father Deserves an Explanation of Son's Death During FBI Questioning

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media

Attorneys from the Tampa Bay region are representing the father of a Chechen man who was fatally shot while being questioned by law officers about ties to one of the Boston marathon bombing suspects.

At a Tampa press conference Tuesday, the father of Ibragim Todashev talked about his son’s life and his son's death.

“He was a good boy,” Abdulbaki Todashev said repeatedly through a translator. “My son was a very good boy and he was innocent and he was simply killed.”

Todashev choked back tears as he read from his handwritten comments.

Ibragim Todashev was killed in May while being questioned by FBI agents and police from Massachusetts and Florida in his Orlando apartment.

Todashev's attorneys called the news conference so the father could ask for justice for his son. They also announced their support of Jeffrey Ashton, Florida State Attorney for the Ninth Circuit, who they said is conducting an independent investigation into the fatal Orlando shooting.

Clearwater attorney Eric Ludin said he and Tampa attorney Barry Cohen are representing the Todashev family during the criminal investigation and any civil action that may follow.

“We believe the people in this country regardless of their religion, their race, their ethnicity, and their immigrant status deserve to be treated fairly by government and law enforcement,” Ludin said.

Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media
Clearwater attorney Eric Ludin (left) holds up a poster board full of photos of Ibragim Todashev as a boy. To the right is the father of the slain Chechen man, Abdulbaki Todashev.

“We believe that Mr. Todashev, as any father would, deserves a thorough explanation of what happened to his son when he was alone in his house with state and federal law enforcement officers and then killed.”

Ludin declined several times to speculate on what happened in the Todashev apartment, saying they would wait for the state attorney’s investigation. He wants those results before considering whether to file a wrongful death civil claim.

The lawyers also brought out numerous photographs, many from the victim's childhood. One showed Ibragim’s recent knee surgery. The attorneys said it offered a defense to the supposition that the athlete attacked law officers. They said the 27-year-old fighter was still walking with a limp and could not have been a threat.

Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said  he has not seen the autopsy report but believes Todashev was shot seven times.

“His friends and family, they washed his body. They prepared it for the burial and we have the photographs of his body where there’s about, over a dozen bullet wounds and injuries on the body,” Shibly said. “But again, we can’t confirm the exact nature of all those injuries until the medical examiner report.”

He said he filed public records requests for the medical examiner's report and shooting incident report but has have been denied pending the ongoing investigations.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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