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Ex-Oakland Officer On Disability Turned FBI Agent Had Violent Track Record, Lawyer Says

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Brian Webb Brian Webb
Brian Webb joined KPIX 5 as a reporter in August 2013 after spendi...
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OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — While officials are Oakland are investigating a former police officer who became a FBI agent while receiving disability, a lawyer who sued the officer said he had a record of abuse.

Aaron McFarlane shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsanaev in Florida last year. The FBI refused to identify the agent, but the Boston Globe reported that it is McFarlane, a former Oakland officer who is collecting $52,000 a year on disability, tax free.

The newspaper traced McFarlane’s roots to California, where he has collected more than $500,000 from CALPERS since breaking his ankle on the job 10 years ago.

Councilman Noel Gallo said possible fraud is hard to enforce. “Oakland doesn’t have the capacity to be enforcing, following up. So it’s not only a police issue, it’s other employees taking advantage of the system,” he told KPIX 5.

McFarlane left Oakland with a violent track record, testifying in the infamous “Riders” police abuse trial. He was also sued for abuse twice.

Attorney Ben Rosenfeld, who brought one case against McFarlane, wonders how the FBI let him slip through its rigorous physical and background checks.

“Why the FBI as the premier law enforcement agency in the country has to reach that low into the barrel for recruits among probably a lot of qualified applicants,” Rosenfeld said.

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