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Latino Daily News

Monday October 31, 2011

Florida Highway Patrol Pulls Over Speeding Miami Cop

Florida Highway Patrol Pulls Over Speeding Miami Cop

Photo: Florida Highway Patrol Pulls Over Speeding Miami Cop

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Earlier this month, a Miami police officer was arrested for speeding by a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officer just after 6:30 a.m.

Officer Fausto Lopez was late for another job when he was spotted by an Highway patrol Officer D.J. Watts. Lopez was seen reaching speeds of 120 mph in his marked police vehicle, while weaving in and out of traffic. The police report states that at one point, he slowed down to 78 mph, only to speed up once again.

Officer Watts followed Lopez, 35, for several minutes, even turning on her lights and sirens, only to watch Lopez continue driving. He eventually pulled over, and by way of her dashcam, Watts can be heard yelling for the driver to put his hands out the window. As she approaches the car, she has her gun drawn, in case the driver of the car is not in fact a police officer, but a thief.

When she gets to the Lopez, she sees he is in full uniform and has him exit the vehicle. He is handcuffed, though he can be heard saying, “Honestly, the handcuffs are not necessary, ma’am.”

Watts replied with, “You know what you are to me? You are a criminal.”

Lopez was cited with a misdemeanor moving violation, and when asked why he did not pull over sooner he said it was because he did not see Officer Watts behind him.

He added that he was trying to get to an off-duty job at a school, which he had to be at by 7:00 a.m.

After Officer Watts’ dashcam video went viral online, Commissioner Frank Carollo said, “The police, like everyone, must respect the laws. What has happened is unacceptable.”

Acting Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa told El Nuevo Herald that any person driving at that speed is putting the public in great danger, saying, “We learned of the incident the day it happened and immediately sent our internal affairs officers to contact the Florida Highway Patrol.”

Both the Miami Police Dept. and FHP have said they are investigating.

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