Trooper Who Pulled Over Speeding Miami Cop In The Clear

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Highway Patrol trooper who pulled over a Miami police officer who was driving more than 120 mph on the Florida Turnpike last October did not violate any department policies.

On Wednesday the FHP issued its report on the incident which concluded trooper Donna Watts used her “judgment” when she pulled officer Fausto Lopez over, drew her gun on him, placed him in handcuffs and charged him with reckless driving, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The incident, which was caught on Watts’ dash cam, made headlines across the country and sparked what some termed an unofficial rift between the agencies.

In the report, Watts was cited for disobeying an order from her supervisor to “back off” during her pursuit of Lopez on the Turnpike. Watts did slow down but after she caught up with Lopez, she turned on her emergency lights when he accelerated again.

In a statement, Watts said she believed the driver was intentionally not stopping for her, was driving recklessly and the car could have been stolen.

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.

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.

FHP spokesman Captain Mark Brown said Watts will not be disciplined for her actions.

“There may be some things we can do better, but that will be handled through coaching and counseling,” he told the paper.

Lopez said he was hurrying because he was a late for a moonlighting job – an off duty gig – in Hollywood.

(TM and © Copyright 20121 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.)

  • Tony Sporano

    What finally happened to Corrupted Lopez. Did this get swept under the rug just like all of the investigations involving Miami’s finest.

    • m

      Most likely.

  • David Wood

    And what would have happened to ANYONE else going 120 mph! ABOVE THE LAW- Te motto of police every where! Hey, howabout WE ALL use the excuse -I was late to work. What was the officer doing in a police cruiser after his/her shift had ended? Why in these days of rising gas prices are they STILL allowed to take home-or to take on their WELL PAYING “side jobs”? The argument that the sight of cruisers on the road is a tool for police presence is a load of%%#$%@$%^

  • Lanny

    Jane Watts did her job, while Lopez was endangering the public and himself.

  • Abraham ben Judea

    While I’mnot against paying taxes to keep us somewhat safe from thugs. But police themselves qualify as gangster in the same way. “pay us or something might happen to you of loved one. And make that a million dollar retirement package.”
    These retirement packages are nothing but extortion. I challange any constitutional lawyer to show us, the constitutional mechanism that allows for the taxation of the many for the retirement of a selected few. When a few are benefitting from the taxation of everyone else that makes them the RULING ELITES. A separate class of citizens

  • Robert Smith

    Read the comments in the Herald also.

  • Mike Rebate

    This event reveals the mindset harbored by far too many immoral “officers of the law”. Unfortunately their entitlement attitude extends beyond the double standard. This arrogant, lawless cop did not expect to be held accountable. Of course he should be terminated as well but that is unlikely.

    Any citizen who requires enlightenment should google, “Police Code of Silence Facts Revealed.

    Instead of embracing and applauding the conduct of the Trooper the hostile reaction of many in law enforcement should serve to warn citizens regarding their lack of integrity.

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