Apartment shootout, 'abduction' show some cops don't like tough questions

Not only do we allow people to criticize us, we encourage it.

We publish comments from readers who tell us we are misguided, uninformed and incapable of doing our jobs. And we do so regularly.

But start asking questions about law enforcement, and there are a bunch of people who want you to shut up.

Sorry, but that's not how it works.

It's not only OK to ask questions; it's essential.

And right now, that's all I have — questions. Not accusations. And most of them are on behalf of the sleeping innocents, not the suspected criminal.

I have questions about the officers' decision to follow and confront a suspect in a populated apartment complex vs. stopping him on the side of the road.

I have questions about the events and decisions that led to more than 100 bullets being fired at a moving car — something discouraged by most law-enforcement offices.

And residents like Porcha Peterson, have questions about why the bullets that entered the unit with her sleeping 1-year-old came from the gun barrels of those who were supposed to keep her safe.

All we're asking for is answers. It defies reason that anybody would want anything less.

And yet, as of today — nearly half a year after the shooting and more than four months after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement declared its investigation complete — not a single piece of information has been released.

I contend you wouldn't stand for such a thing if the bullets had flown into your house.

So I'll wait for the answers. But I'll also keep asking questions about why the media, this community and so many of our silent leaders aren't treating this incident the way we all know they would if it had happened in a wealthier part of town.

I can take the questions and the criticism. But I won't apologize for asking those who make life-or-death decisions to take it, too.

Scott Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-6141.

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