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FBI Agent Who Shot Ibragim Todashev Had Troubled History as Police Officer

The FBI agent who shot and killed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s friend, Ibragim Todashev, served a short and troubled stint as an Oakland Police officer, according to the Boston Globe.

The Globe said Aaron McFarlane, 41, was the agent who shot and killed Todashev during a five-hour interview in Todashev’s Florida apartment. The Globe discovered his name by removing “improperly created redactions” on the electronic version of a Florida report about the shooting.

McFarlane's full name and birth date on records in Massachusetts and New Hampshire match that of the Oakland police officer who was involved in several controversies during his four years with that police force. He retired with a pension of more than $52,000 annually for the rest of his life.

In California, lawyers who had sued McFarlane in Oakland were stunned that the FBI later hired him.

"I would be shocked to learn that the Aaron McFarlane we sued a decade ago could have gone on to have a career with the FBI," said Ian Kelley, a San Francisco lawyer who sued McFarlane on behalf of a man, Michael Cole, who accused McFarlane and another officer of beating him.

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In one 2003 case reported by SFGate, defense attorneys caught McFarlane giving contradictory testimony in a case involving police corruption. McFarlane appeared to defend one of the accused officers, Clarence Mabanag, who was charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, assault and making false arrests, among others.

In March, officers Aaron McFarlane and Jennifer Farrell vouched separately for Mabanag's character and said he taught them to write accurate reports. But in his cross-examinations, Hollister presented each officer with reports that included information that appeared to contradict their earlier testimony.

McFarlane was involved in two settled cases while working as an Oakland Police officer, according to public journalism project Oakland Police Beat.

In one case, plaintiff Michael Cole was awarded $22,500 in an assault and false imprisonment case. In the other, Oakland paid $10,000 to plaintiff Robert Girard for alleged “force and civil rights violations.”

The Globe also identified Curtis Cinelli and Joel Gagne as the two Massachusetts State Police Troopers who were in the room when Todashev was shot. Neither trooper was involved in the Todashev shooting, according to the Florida or FBI investigations.

In 2009, the Taunton Gazette reported Cinelli had a brush with a life-threatening flesh-eating disease. he missed almost four months of work while recovering from the infection.

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