Miami Police Officer Fausto Lopez, 35, was running late, so he decided to zigzag through traffic at more than 120mph. Lopez led Florida highway patrol officer D.J. Watts on a 12-mile chase in pre-dawn darkness and was handcuffed at gunpoint and later charged with reckless driving on the Florida Turnpike – all of which was caught on Dash Cam. Check the video –
Lopez was so reckless and brazen that Watts thought the police car might be stolen. She ordered him out of the car at gunpoint and handcuffed him as he protested, albeit politely, to be “shocked” that another cop might actually enforce the law in his special case.
“I can’t believe this at all,” Lopez said.
Watts tried to explain it to him: “You don’t respect me, sir. You don’t respect the people out here.”
He still didn’t get it. But by the spontaneous angry reaction of Watts to the discovery that this was indeed a cop breaking the law and not a felon driving a stolen vehicle, it’s obvious that she’s witnessed what we all have seen in our communities: Police officers using their patrol cars inappropriately to get to where they need go, to drive faster than the rest of us, to bypass traffic rules, in the process putting lives needlessly at risk.
“This is not a first-time occurrence with you all,” Watts, my nominee for Cop of the Year, told Lopez as the camera rolled. “You all come from that way all the time, this Miami Police car, and we never catch it.”
This certainly was not a first time for Lopez, who was charged with careless driving in 2006 by FHP in Miami-Dade. He pleaded not guilty and the case was dismissed, according to court records.