MIAMI — State investigators in Florida on Wednesday rejected a request to conduct an independent probe of the death of a Chechen man who was fatally shot while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
In a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement declined to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev.
Todashev was killed in May while being questioned by FBI agents and police from Massachusetts and Florida. Officials originally said Todashev lunged at an FBI agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened. An investigation is being led by the FBI.
The ACLU requested the independent investigation last week. FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey declined that request in Tuesday's letter and directed future inquiries to the FBI or the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"This is an active federal investigation," Bailey wrote. "It would be inappropriate for FDLE to intervene."
ACLU of Florida director Howard Simon said he found the response extremely disappointing.
"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," Simon said in a news release. "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."