Officer Pulled Over By FHP Had Driving Complaint In Past
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FHP & Miami PD Dispute
MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police have released more information about Officer Fausto Lopez, who was pulled over last weekend by Florida Highway Patrol trooper Donna Watts.
According to Officer Lopez’s performance reviews, he has one citizen complaint about his driving. But, the exact details of the complaint were not made available.
Overall, Officer Lopez’s reviews show his superiors gave found his job performance satisfactory.
Thursday, radio transmissions were released that shed light on the exchange between a Trooper Watt and Officer Lopez after her was pulled over last month for speeding on the turnpike.
Watt’s dashboard camera recorded the Miami officer, in a marked police car, blowing past her and other traffic on the Florida Turnpike like it was standing still.
“I don’t know what agency it is. I’m on 91, almost to Sunrise. He’s well over 120, and he’s not stopping,” said Trooper Watts. “All I can see is a white patrol car with blue or something like that. It would be Miami or DOT, and I’m sure it’s not DOT.”
On the transmission, her supervisor is heard telling Watts that if the car was, in fact, a City of Miami cruiser that she should stand down,
When Watts finally pulled Lopez over, dispatch instructed her to take down the officer’s name and contact information.
Instead, Watts is seen on her dashboard camera approaching the cruiser with her gun drawn. Once Lopez exited the cruiser, Watts placed him in handcuffs.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the union representing Miami officers, slammed the state trooper’s behavior.
She was “completely unprofessional and very reckless,” said Sgt. Javier Ortiz, the FOP vice-president.
Trooper Watts told her superiors she didn’t know who she was dealing with in the pursuit that lasted seven minutes and went twelve miles.
She thought the police car might have been stolen or carjacked, given that it kept going despite her blue lights and siren being on.
Lopez remains on regular duty.