ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
The Coalition on American-Islamic Relations on Wednesday sent letters to State Attorney Jeff Ashton, the FBI and the Department of Justice asking if they know about the background of FBI agent Aaron W. McFarlane.
In the letter, Hasan Shibly the Executive Director of CAIR, points out there was no mention of Agent McFarlane's background in the state attorney's or DOJ's reports. Both after lengthy investigations, both ruled that McFarlane was justified in killing Ibragim Todashev last May. CAIR also noted that McFarlane's name was not released to the public.
"The fact that he's had multiple lawsuits against him, because he has abused peoples' civil rights and because he's beaten suspects and witnesses, he has violated people's civil rights in the past, it's really shocking to see that kind of info wouldn't be analyzed in the state attorney's report," said Shibly.
According to California state records. Agent McFarlane was an officer for the Oakland Police Department for four years and retired in 2004 at the age of 31. In that time, records show two lawsuits against him were settled in with payouts to victims. He was also accused of falsifying reports and lying under oath and roughing up suspects. Shibly says these findings leave CAIR with two big questions.
"One, it makes us question if he engaged in any civil rights abuse in the hours preceding to the killing of Todashev. Secondly, it makes us question the narrative of what's in the state attorneys report, because at this point, knowing both agents involved have had a history of being deceitful of falsifying evidence and abusing civil rights, it makes us wonder if any of their testimony provided to State Attorney's Office is believable or credible."
Shibly says CAIR determined to get answers.
"If they didn't' know the history of the agent, that means the report was not thorough and not reliable. If they knew and kept it out also means report IS not reliable and not trust worthy," said Shibly.
FOX 35 reached out to State Attorney Jeff Ashton's office and to the FBI's Boston field office, where McFarlane is assigned. Neither returned our messages.