Rep. Brown: Justice Department should step in on Torey Breedlove shooting

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Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell talks with FOX35 about a local congresswoman asking the Justice Dept to investigate Torey Breedlove death.

The U.S. Justice Department may investigate the death of Torey Breedlove after all — at least if a local congresswoman has her way.

Two weeks after a federal judge raised serious questions about the 2010 shooting — 137 rounds fired by Orange County deputies in an occupied apartment complex — U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's office said she will formally ask Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate.

Good for her. After all, there's a lot to question:

About whether the shooting was justified. (Breedlove was unarmed. And U.S. Judge Gregory Presnell concluded that Breedlove was trying to surrender when killed.)

About the amount of rounds fired — many of which wildly missed their target in a complex full of families. (Of 137 rounds, 115 missed their target. Some hit an apartment building where children slept.)

About why the take-down went down the way it did. (Presnell said officers watched Breedlove walk around and waited until he got into a car he owned to go after him.)

State officials earlier declared the Pine Hills shooting justified. Presnell, however, raised questions about those conclusions.

That's why an independent, external eye is needed.

Brown's office said she was drafting a letter to Eric Holder that would ask the Justice Department to investigate the possibility of excessive force the same way it has in Portland, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland and other places.

In many of those cities, local officials welcomed the investigation, saying that an independent investigation would either identify problems or dispel concerns.


•Speaking of Eric Holder, you should know that Barack Obama isn't the only one who may suffer (deservedly so) from all the scandals this week. Florida Dems could pay the price, too. So says the New York Times' reputable prognosticator Nate Silver, who said that, while many scandals are overhyped, the IRS one "has the potential to harm Democrats' performance in next year's midterm elections, partly by motivating a strong turnout from the Republican base."

•Wanna hear something funny? (Not ha-ha funny, but make-you-want-to-puke-up-your-breakfast-burrito funny.) There are rumblings in Tallahassee about politicians mounting their campaigns to be speaker of the state House in … wait for it … 2021. The best part: The talk is coming from aspiring legislators who haven't even been elected yet. At least everyone's priorities are in order.

•Speaking of priorities, they sure seem warped out in Lake County when it comes to education. There, academic test scores trail most of the state. Yet the School Board has now spent the better part of the school year focused on the prospect of a gay-straight club at a single middle school. It started last fall. And school officials have been yapping, debating and voting ever since — with yet another vote planned next month and even more debate expected next fall. All this sends quite a message to students about what parts of education school officials care about most.

•We've written a lot about Florida governors giving appointment slots to those who raise money for them. All of those involved say such talk is mere coincidence. Fair enough. So in completely unrelated news then, two of Rick Scott's appointees to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority are hosting a fundraiser for him next month. Minimum donations of $1,000 are required to get in to the June 7 event hosted by GOAA member Jason Pirozzolo and the Florida Realtors, whose 2013 president is Dean Asher, another GOAA member. But again, there's no connection. or 407-420-6141

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Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

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Jailed police officer [Poll]

Did a Baltimore judge make the right call in sentencing a city police officer to 45 days in jail for beating up a drug suspect who had broken into the home of the officer's girlfriend? Another officer set the stage for the attack.

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure