This courtroom sketch by Jane Flavell Collins shows defendants Dias Kadyrbayev, left, and Azamat Tazhayakov appearing in front of Federal Magistrate Marianne Bowler in May.(Photo: Jane Flavell Collins, AP)
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - A civil rights group is accusing the FBI of harassing friends of a Chechen man shot to death in his Orlando apartment by an agent during questioning about a Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that the FBI has been threatening to arrest friends of Ibragim Todahsev unless they become informants and spy on local mosques, restaurant patronized by Muslims and hookah lounges.
"The DOJ must rein in the atrocious abuse of ethics and the rule of law by overzealous agents who have apparently disregarded the protections enshrined in our Constitution, which are essential to maintaining liberty and justice in our legal system," said CAIR-Florida Executive Director in Tampa Hassan Shibly, Esq. "We also urge community members never to be intimidated by abusive law enforcement tactics and to maintain their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney when approached by FBI agents."
Todashev was killed while FBI agents and others questioned him about his friendship with suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev last May. Officials originally said the Chechen man lunged at an agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.
An FBI spokesman didn't immediately return an email requesting comment.
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