FBI Agent Involved in Fatal Shooting I.D.’d, Had Short But Troubled History at Oakland P.D.

shot by fbiOrange County booking photoIbragim Todashev, a friend of Tamelan Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston bomber who was killed in a shoot-out with cops, was shot to death by an FBI agent in his Orlando, Florida, home after agreeing to be interviewed by them. Todashev was also suspected of a 2011 triple homicide in Boston that cops may have written off as drug related, and the FBI says he admitted to it before their agent killed him.

The FBI determined the shooting of Todashev in his apartment during questioning was justified, keeping the agency's two-decade long streak of justified shootings (about 150 since 1993) intact.

Neither the FBI nor officials in Massachusetts (two state troopers were with the FBI agent during the shooting) and Florida would release the name of the FBI agent, but the Boston Globe discovered his identity, and a troubling past in law enforcement. The Globe reports:

The Globe obtained their names by removing improperly created redactions from an electronic copy of Florida prosecutor Jeffrey L. Ashton's report — which in March found the shooting of Todashev justified — and then verifying their identities through interviews and multiple government records. Those records include voting, birth, and pension documents.

That research identifies the FBI agent as Aaron McFarlane, 41.

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.

The Globe reports that while in Oakland, McFarlane was the target of two police brutality lawsuits (costing Oakland at least $32,500 in settlements), four internal affairs investigations, and once plead the Fifth during a police corruption trial in which prosecutors accused him of falsifying police reports. All this, mind you, in four years. McFarlane went on to collect a $52,000 a year pension after "retiring" ten years ago at 31.

He was hired by the FBI five years ago, but continues to collect a pension, which he is promised for life. McFarlane was employed with the Oakland Police Department while it was embroiled in the largest corruption scandal in its history, one which cost the city $10 million and for which the department is still under federal oversight. He is the son of a former police officer.

When Oakland pays their police officers a higher pension than the median household income in the U.S., it shouldn't be surprising they're in a fiscal mess. Occupy Oakland has spent the last few years instead blaming capitalism for the city's problems.

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  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    "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.

    Shocked? He demonstrates all the qualities expected of a blunt instrument, which is what all law enforcement agencies ultimately want. Someone who has no problem hurting other people because he has authority.

  • sarcasmic||

    McFarlane was the target of two police brutality lawsuits (costing Oakland at least $32,500 in settlements), four internal affairs investigations, and once plead the Fifth during a police corruption trial in which prosecutors accused him of falsifying police reports. All this, mind you, in four years.

    So he's an average cop. What's the big deal?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Still a weird shooting. How does it work that they had to kill a guy during an interrogation? Maybe I missed some detail, but it sounds odd on its face.

  • Paul.||

    I was willing to give the agents the benefit of the doubt based on the report.

    But after reading McFarlane's past, I wonder if he escalated the 'questioning' and a fight broke out.

    I am angered that cops have forced me into a position to question everything they do or say.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I suppose it could've been during the V-K Empathy Test. Those have involved shootings by the interrogee before.

  • Paul.||

    So you think it all went south on the turtle question?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was thinking more about the good things about your mother.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    The Globe obtained their names by removing improperly created redactions from an electronic copy

    Someone didn't flatten the file before sending it out?! Even an old guy like me knows how to do that!

  • From the Tundra||

    Top men, LFOD. Top men.

  • Paul.||

    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.

    Wait, what? He got an annual pension of $52,000 for four years of work? Please, for the fuck love of god tell me I'm reading that wrong.

  • Mokers||

    No perverse incentives in that outcome, that's for sure!

  • Paul.||

    When Oakland pays their police officers a higher pension than the median household income in the U.S., it shouldn't be surprising they're in a fiscal mess. Occupy Oakland has spent the last few years instead blaming capitalism for the city's problems.

    This is why I just can't take the Occupy movement serially.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I can't take them serially nor all at once.

    Looks like Oakland is already occupied by socialists. The Occupy movement doesn't even get socialism right as the first rule of socialism is that competition is bad.

  • Ross||

    $52,000 a year?!?! and started collecting that when he was 31? Can we get a fact check on that because that is so outrageous it's hard for me to accept at face value.

  • Paul.||

    Word. Outrageous isn't even a strong enough word to describe it.

  • AlgerHiss||

    “…was shot to death by an FBI agent…”

    Can we end anointing these people with all of this silly-assed “agent” and “special agent” nonsense?

    They are not self-employed. They are not entrepreneurs. They are not an “agent” like your local State Farm Agent who actually is self-employed.

    They are nothing more than government employees that get a pay check with taxes deducted, just like any other employed slappy.

  • Invisible Finger||

    He retired with a pension of more than $52,000 annually for the rest of his life.

    With a deal like that, I'd have to question the sanity of any Oakland cop who stayed on the job MORE than four years.

  • KDN||

    Seriously. Hell, I'm thinking of moving to Cali and putting in an application.

    I wonder if his getting a full pension is a function of his being forced out. It might not be a stupid move to pay that shitbird $52k per year just to go away, especially if you consider the costs of litigating his dismissal with the PBA.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Yeah, and they have all that free money...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Disabilities worth $52,000 a year (which is what that is, according to the Globe) are apparently not so bad as to preclude someone from passing the fitness standards of the FBI.

  • JEP||

    My dad passed the fitness standards of the FBI. He's probably the most uncoordinated person I know and has a vision problem. He passed the shooting test by practicing the test so much, he knew exactly how far off to aim.

    I'm not impressed by government fitness standards.

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