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Miami Chief Says Speeding Officer 'Will Pay'

November 01, 2011  | 

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa made it clear where he stands regarding his officer who was detained at gunpoint by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper for reckless driving.

In an interview with Local 10 on Monday, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said, "He was endangering everybody around him, and he, like my predecessor used to say, he did a knuckle-headed move, and he will pay for it."

At the same time, the Miami Fraternal Order of Police criticized the Florida Highway Patrol trooper who cited Officer Lopez in the Oct. 11 incident, after pulling him over in the southbound lanes of Florida's Turnpike near Hollywood Boulevard. Trooper D.J. Watts followed the officer for 12 miles at speeds reaching 120 mph. The trooper drew her weapon when Lopez finally pulled over, then handcuffed him.

In a letter obtained by Local 10, Sgt. Javier Ortiz defended Lopez, writing, "Pulling a firearm on a police officer in full uniform in a marked unit is extremely reckless and unprofessional."

Related: Miami Cop Detained for Driving 120 mph (video)

Comments (93)

Displaying 1 - 93 of 93

ALopez @ 11/1/2011 6:35 PM

As a fellow LEO of 20 years, i believe the trooper should have called a Miami PD supervisor to the traffic stop scene and cited the officer and turned him over to the supervisor. Of course, that is what i would do in the same scenerio.

lamann @ 11/1/2011 6:52 PM

I agree with the prior LEO. As a 30 yr LEO, and manager, I think the Highway Patrol Officer let the stress and emotions get the best of her and over-reacted. Does she react to all speeders this way?

Wesley @ 11/1/2011 7:02 PM

I'm sure she doesn't treat all speeders that way but I'm sure she treats all those that lead her on a 12 mile chase that way. With 7 years on the job I know enough that no officer should be judging the trooper right now. The focus should be squarely on the officer that committed the offense and not on the trooper who was put in a terrible position by a police officer who obviously had no common sense.

Mike @ 11/1/2011 7:03 PM

I also agree with the prior Leo. It's bad enough that we have criminals pointing weapons at us and now one of our own. Was not like he was in pov. It just gets me sick now the community (criminals)see that the police have tention and hatred

BW @ 11/1/2011 7:05 PM

I think the other commenters on here would sing a different tune of this Trooper was a male, and not a female Officer. Having reason to believe the patrol car may have been stolen - and the Miami Officer acting in a way that would only heighten that suspicion - I feel she acted appropriately. If I suspected someone had stolen a squad car and was travelling in excess off 100 miles per hour, I would effect a felony stop. Monday morning quarter backs...

Jay Peters @ 11/1/2011 7:13 PM

I can not understand how a Law Enforcement Professional would initiate and continue a pursuit in excess of 100 mph for a traffic violation. Throughout this "pursuit" the Trooper showed gross disregard for the public she is sworn to protect. Further, this Trooper should have attempted to stop the vehicle, notified dispatch, notified a Supervisor and called off the pursuit on her own. Finally, if the Miami patrol vehicle was in fact "reported stolen" she would have probably known that through dispatch or an in car NCIC system.
When this Trooper finally made contact with the compliant officer she pointed her service pistol at him and into the travel portion of the highway where vehicles were passing by. Obviously this Trooper's judgement is poor to put it mildly. And her training, well, that speaks for itself
However, the Miami officer should be disciplined for his behavior as travelling at that rate of speed for non emergency situations is certainly dangerous and inappropriate. The police have a duty to protect everyone, including one another, and in this situation both of these officers are wrong.
Let me conclude that I know 99% of America's officers do a fine job every day and would never act like this!
Be Safe
Jay Peters

RICHARD ISAACS @ 11/1/2011 7:18 PM


jay @ 11/1/2011 7:18 PM

If she thought the offense was so egregious why didn't she conduct a felony traffic stop?

Metrodan54 @ 11/1/2011 7:19 PM

No, the focus was taken off the officer who committed the offense because the trooper made it personal and lost her professional focus. Please stop with the stolen police cruiser story, no one, I mean one one believes that..If so and by her own account, every police car that she had previously seen speeding and she could not catch must have been a stolen police car. STOP IT. She knew what she was chasing, another speeding police vehicle on her highway. The trooper placed herself in a bad position by chasing it and then by pulling a gun on a police officer.......It wasn't a male or female thing, it was just a stupid thing.

henry @ 11/1/2011 7:22 PM

so she thought the patrol car was stolen, was lt reported stolen, or did this genuis figure it out when the officer got out in full uniform. maybe some miami officer will repay the favor to this holier than thou idiot. she's one of those troopers that thinks she's better than those local cops, who actually answer calls, not just write tickets. she'd make a good meter maid!

JP @ 11/1/2011 7:27 PM

Try arresting an officer in a marked uniform in a police car in California and see what would happen to you! There are other ways of dealing with this issue. Leave it to the highway patrol to screw things up. The officer NEVER should have allowed himself to be handcuffed like that nor should the Miami Chief of Police be making comments without an investigation being concluded. He condemns the actions but then states he is waiting for the investigation to be concluded. What an idiot. I can only imagine a "fair and impartial" investigation is being performed? Of course not, the Chief has already stated in the media what his mindset is so the investigation will be inline. Once again southern law enforcement embarrasses the nation.

lamann @ 11/1/2011 7:30 PM

Hey, Jay.........Thanks, man. We appreicate that!

LH @ 11/1/2011 8:17 PM

Miami FOP and others defending this nut?!!! Since when does being in full uniform and marked car mean that you can't be a nut job? Cops have raped, robbed and murdered while in uniform. The fact that he commited this crime shows he is not thinking straight. Those that support this behavior is exact proof to the feelings that cops think they are above the law. News flash-your not! Thank you to all who protect and serve professionally and honorably!

Bradybill @ 11/1/2011 8:30 PM

I've read most of the comments on this incident involving the Highway Patrol officer arresting the Miami Police officer, at gunpoint, for speeding. I'm sure there might be more to this story that what is actually written. We as brother and sister law enforcement officers need to understand that the public loves to see us bicker with each other. I'm not going to comment on this incident, but I do want to wish all my fellow "brother and sister" law enforcement officers a very safe career and please watch each other backs!!!

Rick Los Angeles @ 11/1/2011 8:37 PM

Sorry Officer Alopez, But if "as a fellow" I will doing nothing, his is a "brother" right?. The only think probably I would do in this case if I don't have nothing more important to do like catch "bad guys" was asking him what going on and maybe advised him to don't doing again. I know, I know some officer deserve it, even if him deserved it probably I will not pull the gun on another uniform officer driving his marked patrol car and Officer always have to think safe right? What about safety? now instead 1, 2 cars driving a 120 mph for nothing! Even between agency's I don't care if you are federal, State or City authority we have to treat everyone with respect even if one agency is powerful then another. Starting looking for bad guy's and be safe all there.

Tschako @ 11/1/2011 8:40 PM

What's worse is the fallout from these stupid moves. Now, some of one department will be looking for officers of the other department on or off duty, to exact a little "payback" Nobody wins from this.

vbdep @ 11/1/2011 8:46 PM

Either way this guy was a real dumbass!

D. Sanchez @ 11/1/2011 8:59 PM

WOW,,,,it would seem the the whole point of this was MISSED,,,This COP,,,is a COP....120 MPH,,,,This is a man that is in the public trust. A man that is hire to protect and serve. A man that has gone thru supposed back ground, credit, mental and decision making processes to deem give him the priviledge of being a COP. This is ONE reason why the public has a distrust for Law Enforcement. And the fact that everyone here is arm chair quarter backing another officer's actions, and stating that it should've been handled internally, by turning him over to his own agency's supervisor. BULLSHIT,,,if it were a private citizen or anyone else for that matter, it would've been a CLEAR AND UNQUESTIONABLE "FELONY STOP". Lights, gun and the whole ball of wax. And as for a lengthy unsafe chase,,,yeah, the officer involved did in fact make questionable decisions and follow thru with questionable actions...BUT,,,,it seems quite obvious that COPs are not perfect, not capable of making the RIGHT decisions all the time,,,HENCE this whole situation to begin with. COP,,Late for work doing up to 120 MPH,,,,

VIPD_87 @ 11/1/2011 9:00 PM

I'm a officer of the United States Virgin Islands , we give courtesy to all Law Enforcement . She could of warned him , speak to him or something besides this embarrass him. She may of taken bread from this officer mouth and family. We are are all in the same fight. No matter what county, district or region.

Don @ 11/1/2011 9:05 PM

So lets get this straight. She chased him in excess of 120 MPH endangering everyone on the highway because he was speeding, pulls a gun on a fully uniformed officer in a police car non the less, handcuffed the officer, arrested him instead of detaining him & calling her supervisor and the supervisor of the officer. HOW UTTERLY RETARDED! resign now lady & save us the trouble of having to fire you later!

john bianchi @ 11/1/2011 9:20 PM

This is a crying shame,is this the way we threat one of the family?

BW @ 11/1/2011 10:40 PM

She reported she believed it was stolen, ergo my remarks. I don't subscribe to the mentality that all officers should always extend courtesy to other officers. I've heard enough complaining about Officer Smith writing Officer Doe a DUI and how Officer Smith is a POS for doing it to last me a lifetime. Plain and simple, the Officer acted in a hypocritical, reckless manner, and the Trooper acted according to her best judgment. If you notice, she holsters up when she sees the driver is a uniformed officer. That alone says enough to me.

John @ 11/1/2011 11:53 PM

Let's face it, on every shift officers drive over the speed limit and many times drive too fast. Admittedly, 120 mph is excessive by any measure, but also by any measure, one cannot defend the trooper's action because it is a well establish area of policy and law that we don't create and maintain unsafe conditions in "failure to yield" or "pursuit" situations--especially, when there are other methods to attain the same justice. I'm sure the State of Florida has adopted a policy that required this "pursuit" to be terminated without better cause than that the vehicle was speeding and being driven aggressively. If the trooper had called off the "pursuit" and called a supervisor, the same result would have been achieved. If the officer had been involved in a collision, after the trooper followed policy, it is my belief that the state would not have been liable. As it stands, a greater risk was created by maintaining the "pursuit". At the end of the pursuit, the trooper's actions speak for themselves. We wouldn't tolerate that treatment to a citizen or to the other motorists and we shouldn't tolerate it here. We have an unfortunate case of two competing sets of unprofessional conduct and, in my opinion, both officers should be seriously disciplined.

jason @ 11/2/2011 12:25 AM

One cop does something and another follows the lead both have some blame in this incident but the bottom line is it should have never happened the first officer shouldnt be flying down the road. One mistake leads to another.

Nytch @ 11/2/2011 1:26 AM

I'm glad to see that the same thoughts I had are being echoed on here. Nobody believes that she thought it was stolen. She contradicts herself in the video. Either it is a stolen police cruiser, or you have seen it speeding down this highway many times and haven't caught it. Not both. She is extremely lucky that the Police Officer didn't get out and engage her, how did he know that she hadn't stolen a Troop car? He should know pursuit techniques and that the pursuit should have been called off at those speeds, thus he could have rightly assumed somebody stole a squad and was then pointing a gun at him. There's no doubt that the PO was wrong traveling at these speeds, but things were compounded by EVERY ACTION the trooper made. Regardless of whether it was a male or female, this was poorly executed and it's fortunate it turned out as well as it did.

George O. @ 11/2/2011 1:45 AM

@BW, you are definately the one who is monday night quaterbacking. God, I hope you aren't an LOE, if you are your dumber than the jackass supervisors backing this B****! BTW, her sex , male or female has absolutely zero 2 do with this, as you allude to. So, lets take this step by step, # 1, if it was a stolen police veh, every on duty cop for a 100 mile radius would know. #2, the article states that she was TOLD several times to terminate the pursuit by supervisors. She should be charged with failure to obey. #3, If she really thought it was a stolen police veh why didn't she wait for back up and conduct a felony stop. And if that was what her departments version of a felony stop was, then they are in deep trouble when they have to actualy do a real felony stop. Lastly, Ofcr Lopez either showed extremly good restraint or he needs to maybe get an inside job. Because, if anyone, cop included, ever pulled a gun on me while I was in uniform, they better place themselves in a much better place of tactical advantage and, be a much better shot! To FHP, you better take a real hard look at the mental stability of your officer I can almost certainly assure you that if you keep this person on your pay roll she will most certainly cause your department to face more than one law suit before the end of her career. Get rid of her before she becomes a major financial liability to your organization.

Brinks @ 11/2/2011 3:01 AM

Only in America can we sit back and play Monday morning quarterback on something we have no personal knowledge of, either by being a witness or thoroughly conducting an investigation. My opinion cause and effect, the speeding officer caused the incident and now its going to affect both officers. We all know the breaks we get when in a marked squad car, don’t push it or take advantage of it.

God Bless, Be Safe.

joe @ 11/2/2011 3:09 AM

Being a law enforcement officer for over 35 years I believed the trooper was right in stopping the miami officer for speeding. However she should have detained the officer to clarify the stolen vehicle, call his supervisor and issue him a citation. This situation is very embarrising to the MIami Police Department and only causes hard feelings between state and local. I don't know how many times I have seen Troopers breaking the speed limit on the highway or driving recklessly going to a call.

Mark @ 11/2/2011 3:58 AM

Well, not to beat a dead horse. But as a 20+ year law enforcement officer, there has to be some better decisions made by everyone. I am hoping that FHP received complaints or filed complaints that were never acted on? I know I am assuming a lot. But really, arresting a fellow police officer in uniform and in a marked squad car for a traffic violation. Luckily most police officers in general are professional and when that Trooper needs backup (City Police or Sheriff) they will be there for her. I just have to think, WOW, imagine that mother traveling by having to explain to her child why a cop just arrested a cop. Law enforcement didn’t build any “social capital” this day. That Miami cop driving 120 to get where? Totally inappropriate and he deserves everything he gets. If he would have made a better decision, the chain of events would have never started.

BlueMotor2 @ 11/2/2011 4:49 AM

As a nearly thirty year veteran in Broward County Fl. where this whole mess started I travel the Florida Turnpike both on and off duty. Not one person mentioned in their comment, the fact that her patrol supervisor advised her 3 minutes after she said the words PURSUIT, to break it off. That is why she continued to chase the Miami officer with her overheads off! FHP pursuit policy states that a Trooper shall not engage in a motor vehicle pursuit for a traffic violation. Further it states that pursuits are only permitted with the permission of the patrol supervisor upon advising conditions and speeds. NO TROOPER SHALL ENGAGE IN A PURSUIT UNLESS A FELONY HAS OCCURRED AND IT INVOLVED INJURY OR DEATH, FURTHER IT STATES THAT A TROOPER SHALL ONLY ENGAGE IN A PURSUIT IF A SUPERVISOR GRANTS PERMISSION UPON REVIEW OF CONDITIONS AND SPEED AND IF THE TROOPER CAN DETERMINE DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY TO LIFE SHALL BE PREVENTED AS A RESULT. No one has mentioned that the Trooper disregarded a direct order by the patrol supervisor to contact City dispatch and advise the communication bureau sworn Watch Commander of the situation. The W/C could pull up the time and location as their vehicles are all GPS monitored. As for the report of 120 MPH, I can happily state that the reported actual GPS speed was 96 MPH not 120 as she reported. This poor excuse for an LEO TROOPER should undergo Psych. Eval as well as remedial retraining and receive a written repremand for ROAD RAGE in her personel file. The officer should be councelled, and his take home privledges suspended for 45 days. HOW DARE YOU TROOPER D.J. WATT, DRAW YOUR WEAPON ON A BROTHER LEO? WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING? Shame on you officer Lopez for standing down and letting that RAT disarm you. Am I as guilty as the Miami officer AT TIMES? No doubt, none of us are perfect, but Trooper D.J. Watt, you crossed the THIN BLUE LINE, and I hope you are proud of your accomplishment!

Richard @ 11/2/2011 4:50 AM

I have been in law enforcement for 26 years. It seems most of the focus is being put on the trooper. She could and probably should have handled this differently. However, the light should be on the speeding knucklehead. Just because he is one of us does not give him the right to drive the way he did. No excuse for it! He is the one who initiated and brought upon the bad publicity for LEOs. I will leave it to his police chief to decide his future.

Bob @ 11/2/2011 5:14 AM

So, LEOs are above the law if they are in uniform? I'm very dismayed at some of the comments here attacking the trooper. If that had been a civilian leading a 12 mile chase at 120 mph, they would have been eating pavement and then incarcerated. This isn't a game. LEOs must be held to a higher standard because of the public trust given them, upon which Lopez trampled. It doesn't matter if he was in uniform or not, whether in a marked vehicle or not, this was misconduct on Lopez' part that endangered public safety. There is no excuse for his reckless conduct. He should have the book thrown at him. The trooper should be commended for intervening appropriately in a dangerous situation. The uniform isn't a do-whatever-you-feel-like get-out-of-jail-free card.

WR @ 11/2/2011 5:31 AM

I don't fault the trooper for doing her job. I am a 25 year LEO and manager of a municipal agency and would not expect our officers to drive in a manner that would have put a fellow officer in a situation requiring enforcement. Check your personal professional ethics if you feel sympathetic towards the offending officer. Cudos to the trooper.

Doug @ 11/2/2011 5:35 AM

In this past year, a trooper had to pull over a deputy in a marked unit on Interstate and the deputy ending up shooting the trooper. The deputy had just shot his ex-wife. Don't judge these unless you were there

Scott in Florida @ 11/2/2011 5:37 AM

Reading all the bantering back and forth over who was the more wrong is unsettelling. The Miami Officer should have gotten up a little earlier, left the house a little earlier which would have avoided the whole unsightly incident. As for the Trooper. She said she believed the unit may be stolen but at the end of the video she tells the Miami Supervisor that the vehicle is seen all the time speeding and she could never catch it until that day. The troopers action were unprofessional at best because she appeared to be taking the acts of the other officer as personal. By her poor tactics and failure to stop a "Felony Vehicle" with sufficent back up showed she knew who it was and she finally got him. I live in Florida and have been a LEO for almost 30 years. What really concerns me is the consequences of her actions in the future. I deal with the Latin community and the male Machizmo all the time and I know there are plenty of DV incidents I could use as exibits when it comes to people treating females with disrespect. As a female trooper, how long will it be before she comes across someone who won't put up with her attitude and decides right then he would rather go to jail than sit and be berated by a female. Now, add to the incident, how many police officers would bust their hump when the "Officer needs assistance" call comes out? I would hope a badge would be sufficent for everyone of us to crawl through 2 miles of broken glass to get to one another but I know cops and I know how they think. Food for thought for the trooper. Don't crap where you eat. There was a better way to handle this situation regardless of the other officers actions. I would hate to think someone would let an officer hang to teach them a lesson but I have seen that happen before. I hope she is never placed in that position and I would hope if she is, Officers would fight to get to her as quickly as they could.

Jeff @ 11/2/2011 5:39 AM

I believe there are idiot LEO's commenting here, as stated, focus should be on the moron officer, not the Trooper, the moron officer caused this from the get go. He has ONLY himself to blame, plus I bet because she was a female the bashers come out. Female officers/troopers can do the job the same if not better than most males.

Arnold Brown @ 11/2/2011 5:46 AM

I agree with the one officer. Call a supervisor to the scene and right him the citation. She did not act in a proffessional manner and no way do you point your gun at a fellow officer, handcuffs and take his weapon. Both officers need to be talked too. Not just the speeding officer. Just so you know I have 21 years on duty so far. If we don't take care of each other who else will? No one....

Tim @ 11/2/2011 5:46 AM

First of all. I believe that most troopers are taught in the academy that locals are below them, although they(locals) are the ones that back up these pride pushers!! I also believe that was the real reason for the stop. I guess their driver training gives then the right to consantly speed but no one else in LE can. We had an incident in Ct recently where a local cop was responding to the hospital to tried to interview a stabbing suspect before he died and a Ct trooper sgt stopped the local cop ( local cop had lights and siren on) and was told to slow down.... And thats Okay? Locals need to work together and without out these gods and goddess!! Oh and this recent incident is shameful to both. The trooper for being dramatic and the local for being a fool!!!

c1ogden @ 11/2/2011 5:48 AM

"so she thought the patrol car was stolen, was lt reported stolen, or did this genuis figure it out when the officer got out in full uniform."

This is a really stupid comment. Have you been around long enough to remember the CA cop that was shot and killed by guy wearing a stolen police uniform and driving a stolen police car?

The trooper did nothing wrong and only a dirtbag would try to shift the blame from the violator to her. This "officer" and his union rep who defended him are not fit to be any type of public employee let alone cops! They have violated the public trust in an unforgiveable manner and both should resign immediately. They are both a disgrace to the badge!

Jeff @ 11/2/2011 5:49 AM

After 12 years in the LE field, one thing is for sure, THERE IS NO BROTHERHOOD AT ALL! Anyone can see that in the comments here. I have no empathy for the speeding officer. This incident is one reason the public distrust police officers. They believe they should be treated different because they wear a uniform! Bull Crap, they should be treated like the general public would be, this would pull a lot of officers of thier soap box's. An officer breaking the law should be treated the same as an office worker, period!

Jeff @ 11/2/2011 5:53 AM

I find it interesting that commenters are stating thier years of service. Just because you have years of service doesn't mean you know what to do, anyone can make a stupid mistake. I bet every commenter here has!!!!!!

c1ogden @ 11/2/2011 5:53 AM

As Phil Messina says - "Loyalty, above all else...except Honor!"

There is plenty of brotherhood, Jeff, but this guy has proven himself unworthy of being one of us and so have his supporters. We will never get any respect from the public if we can't police ourselves and weed out the a-holes like this one.

Jeff @ 11/2/2011 5:57 AM

c1ogden, that is exactley what needs to happen. I am not surprised of the support for the offender. Wether you wear a badge or not, all need to be treated the same. But it is not done this way and the public knows this, they are not stupid.

c. britt @ 11/2/2011 6:07 AM

amend, brother.

Mike @ 11/2/2011 6:14 AM

I have been a patrol supervisor for the past 15 years and have been a police officer for 25 years, and I can say that the actions of the State Trooper show a total lack of judgment and disrespect for other police agencies. I work in a city where several interstates pass through and several departments use them to get from one secretion of their city to another in a hurry. I see on a daily basis state, county and local police running lights and siren and sometimes running silent to get from call to call. My question would be to the trooper should you be stopped every time you exceed the speed limit? If you were truly concerned you could have had dispatch contact Miami and inquire about the status of that unit, and did you pull up and see who was driving?

Focus @ 11/2/2011 6:36 AM

Everyone should sit back and think for a minute. Stop focusing on the Trooper as being totally wrong. No, I would not have pulled a gun on another Officer, but he was totally wrong for putting her in that situation and the citizens on the highway. Speed normally contributes to the death of alot of Officers, on and off duty. There is no excuse he could have given me for driving over 100mph. Yes, he should have been stopped. She may have saved many lives that day. He put her in that situation. Yes, a supervisor from her agency and his should have been called to the traffic stop. We can all sit here and criticize her, but he was totally wrong. He should be punished to the fullest. I can assure you if he was stopped in Virginia, the Common Wealth, he would have been arrested. Those that think no action should be taken against him, I can only imagine what you have done in your career, or what you will do. Be honest with yourself and stop being so negative towards the Trooper. I commend his Chief for taking disciplinary actions. Monday morning quarter backs are our worst critics, not the public.

guy samuelson @ 11/2/2011 6:41 AM

There are two problems here. The trooper was wrong and the officer in the cruiser was wrong. One problem is that there are many troopers who feel they are better than other officers out there. I agree with the other person who said that the trooper knew what she had, stop with the possible stolen cruiser. Again if that was he case then you radio it in, call a supervisor wait for back up and conduct a felony stop. The officer should not have been going that fast what a dumb [email protected]#. He needs to be disciplined, mainly becuase his actions caused this whole incident. Hopefully the agencies can work this out. We as LEO have to work together, but at the same time we cannot put each other in bad situations. Also dont be hypocrites, we all speed, and dont tell me you never have, but 120mph, uncalled for. Handcuffing a felow officer and not calling their supervisor, sounds like a power trip. Again uncalled for. This whole thing is an embarrassment to Law Enforcement and both the officer and trooper, need to take a second look whether this is the right profession for them.

Park @ 11/2/2011 6:48 AM

Wonder how often this happens with Miami police? I recall an incident several years ago in Tennessee when one of my fellow officers pursued 2 speeding motorcyclists up a mountain road with heavy traffic. Several times they looked back at the pursuit vehicle, waved and laughed though they quit laughing when they hit the roadblock 10 miles up the mountain. Both Miami PD, one carrying a gold plated firearm he claimed to have been awarded as "Officer of the Year". They initially treated the officers with contempt, hick cops, but then began the pleading when they found they were in federal jurisdiction and about to be locked up. Once dispatch verified they actually were Miami PD, they were cited and released. Maybe its the culture of the department.

MJ Turnbow @ 11/2/2011 7:36 AM

The gist of these posts seems to be "the Trooper was wrong for even going after the Miami Officer." Bull!!! Speaking as a Trooper from another state who has arrested more than a few officers driving DUI...IN UNIFORM... she had a duty and obligation to determine why he was driving at that speed and if he were driving under the influence. The Miami cop drew attention to himself by his driving. I don't drive 120 unless I have lights and siren going and I don't expect others to either. The way she handled the stop is open to debate, but in uniform or not...if she told him he is under arrest then he had better comply. NO ONE can legally refuse to comply.

S. Jon Brown @ 11/2/2011 7:39 AM

Get the squad number. Ask dispatch if any squad from dept. is reported stolen. Notify dept. and mail ticket to speeder. Pretty simple. Pull a uniformed officer in a marked squad out at gunpoint and handcuff? Sounds like over reaction by a rookie FDP officer. Time for re-training. Imagine what non-cop speeders go through with this FHP cop!! FHP needs to evaluate the troopers ability to do the job.

Rick @ 11/2/2011 7:40 AM

One of our Officers (340 person pd) stopped a marked unit from a neighboring agency (about 10 person pd) driving through our city one night. Our Officer thought it was suspicious and the driving was not in uniform. Turns out the small agency had sold this vehicle with marking, lights & siren to this POS for $100.00. When my agency contacted the smaller agency they confirmed they sold it, but said they told the buyer not to drive it until he took the emergency equipment and markings off. I wondered what he was susposed to do the emergency equipment when he took it off, give it to a friend, sell it on E-Bay or maybe just throw it in the trash???

DD @ 11/2/2011 7:54 AM

I would not have let that Trooper take my gun or put me in cuffs. That retard Trooper would have a different decision to make because she would have been staring down the business end of my gun as well. I've been a LEO for 10 yrs. This is truly embarrassing for all of us.

Chuck @ 11/2/2011 8:07 AM

I wonder how many of you out there would be trying to shift the blame to the trooper and not the officer if he would have run one of your family members off the road or killed one of them because he was driving 120 mph because he was late to his second job. talk about some screwed up priorities. I kind of wonder if there are so many maiking excuses for the speeding officer because there are so many of us out here that think the badge gives us the excuse to drive however we want and then we get all pissy when someone tries to hold us accountable.

Tom @ 11/2/2011 9:19 AM

STOP the insanity. This is about an officer who chose to drive at speeds up to 120 MPH and fail to yield/attemp to elude for 12 miles. He also chose the location of the stop which was not in the travel lane but on the median shoulder. Why should the trooper treat him any different than another citizen who did the same thing. Yes, a full felony stop would have been appropriate and what she did was a "courtesy". Police officers are NOT above the law. Miami PD should fire this guy on the spot. The trooper should be commended for not ignoring the violation. I am a 19 year LE veteran and supervisor. This action would result in termination if he was employed by my agency. Another black eye for the rest of us doing a professional job!

Grant @ 11/2/2011 9:32 AM

This trooper is an idiot. She must have been bored or maybe just to big of a pussy to go deal with a real bad guy. What would she have done had the officer refused to give her his service weapon or refused to let her even get close enough to cuff him then what? Looking at how poorly she handled the situation up to the point that the officer stopped would she have continued with the poor decisions and got into a physical altercation with the officer had he decided that there was no way in he'll he was gonna be cuffed and requested a supervisor. The closest this trooper needs to be to a squad car is watching them pass her desk as they pull in for service!

Jane Simone @ 11/2/2011 9:39 AM

I can hear it now: "Yes, counselor, it's true that the defendant had repeatedly engaged in drunken high-speed, reckless driving. And yes, it's true that because of the "brotherhood of blue," he was repeatedly let off with a warning, and did not have either his job or his license threatened. And yes, now that he finally killed a pair of parents and crippled their kids, maybe we had gone too easy on him."

bill @ 11/2/2011 9:42 AM

Got a lot of people monday morning quarterbacking the trooper. Must be in middle management.

P Cundiff @ 11/2/2011 9:55 AM

First of all I was not there so I don't want to second guess what was going on but I do wonder with today's communication systems why the HP did not just contact the MPD and find out what the hell their Officer was doing. These are the kind of dumb events that start wars between agencies. Just like the CHP & LASD war of the early 80's.

David @ 11/2/2011 10:12 AM

It just sickens me to see how many Police Officers think they are above the law. The Miami officer should lose his badge for this act of stupidity.

As for the state trooper - Great Job! Don't let anyone tell you that you did anything wrong. Just like any other High speed pursuit - it ends with a gun pointed at the violator. Thank you for doing the job you were hired to do. Thank you for not letting the blue line influence the way you do your job.

Thank you for protecting everyone, civilians and officers, from the power hungry ego-maniac that somehow slipped through the Miami PD selection process.

IF that officer is an example of what the Miami PD is all about - then god help anyone that lives in, near, or travels through Miami

EMETYAHU @ 11/2/2011 10:51 AM


G @ 11/2/2011 11:23 AM

That trooper way overly reacted and was very unprofessional. I work for a major city. There is no way that any of us would have done that. Call the dept supervisor and notify the
Of it. Now look. She embarrassed herself and the state along with Miami on national news. The dude was wreck less nonetheless.

Al @ 11/2/2011 11:56 AM

I spent 28 years as a Miami police officer, retiring in 2001. Back in 1986, we had two officers killed in our district one night and the murder subject fled in one of the police vehicles. It was not uncommon to have an emergency vehicle stolen in Miami and the vehicles had "kill switches" installed as a result. Several officers, then and recently, have been suicidal and mentally impaired. All of us exceeded the speed limit from time to time, but I believe this officer and his actions were excessive. I believe he lacked some common sense, but he may also be one of the department's problem children. She had no way of knowing this officer's frame of mind at the time and I certainly support her ( the Trooper's ) actions knowing that he was armed. Our Golden rule that is taught is that no matter what, you always go home safe to your family and that's just what she did. Just like any scoff-law, his actions made this happen. What an embarrassing incident for all of us.

DG @ 11/2/2011 12:56 PM

I have mixed feeling about some of the comments on here. Both officers had their faults. The Miami officer was CLEARLY wrong for his speed, lane changes and failure to stop. The trooper could have conducted things a little differently. If you watch the full 50 minute dash cam, you get a little more out of it than the 3 minute news clip. She ran the tags on the cruiser and it came back to a totally different vehicle, the Miami car was not in Miami city or county and at that speed I could see how she may have gotten the impression it may have been stolen. One article even stated the FHP attempted to call the car on Miami's frequency with no response. Once the car stopped and she saw a uniformed officer, handcuffs were excessive, and pointing her weapon into traffic, big time no-go. But like others have said, none of us were there, so who are we to Monday morning quarter back.

saunders @ 11/2/2011 1:23 PM

I Agree with the L.E Officers call the watch commander to the scene to further investigate the incident, check radio traffic to see if the officer is on an code 3 call , always in the field try and work with other departments one day i may be there to save your life!!! have an good gentleman....

Chuck @ 11/2/2011 2:04 PM

So for everyone saying she should have just called the watch commander and left a message or lodged a complaint or.... who is liable and who takes the blame her just reporting this later and letting the watch commander take care of it after he still driving at 120 mph kills someone (including himself). what now? oh well, sorry I while on duty, in uniform and in a marked unit called and told someone that the car was speeding down the freeway at twice the legal speed limit. Sorry he killed someone, guess the watch commander should have called him and told him to slow down sooner. Sorry my bad, why gets to tell the family that half of them were killed because a law enforcement officer choose to break the law because he is a cop and can do so,and another one choose to not take action because she didn't want to suffer the wrath of her fellow officers and be tols she is a traitor for doing what she is supposed to do. Thanks, I am sure myriad people are going to sleep soundly tonight knowing that this attirude is so prevelant in the law enforcement community. No freaking wonder we are villified and cursed in the papers, media and are portrayed as the typical "Training Day" officer in the movies.

janet @ 11/2/2011 2:38 PM

Was the Officer going on a emergency call? If not he should not have been driving at that rate of speed. No one is above the law. She was doing her job.

John Russell @ 11/2/2011 2:47 PM

Look even A POS Crown VIC is extremely dangerous at 120 even for POLICE on DUTY now if it was A HYABUSA 1300 or YZF 1000 Rice burner that is just warming up! but tropper cuffing is flat out disrespect and COP or NO COP she should get KNOCKED OUT FOR THAT!!! Again You palce GIRL is int he kitchen not policing HA!!!

Capt David-retired LA Cou @ 11/2/2011 5:32 PM

With cameras rolling ---- if you turn another cop over to supervisors instead of doing enforcement you may find yourself in more problems. Was a lot easier in the day when cameras weren't everywhere.

JJ @ 11/2/2011 7:26 PM

This is typical of a trooper. She took it personal and wanted to make an example of the local police. She's the type of trooper who has no descretion, and would write her mother a ticket. Don't take me the wrong way I believe the Miami cop was wrong, but there is no way you can convince me that she believed the car was stolen. She ought to be ashamed of her conduct, and so should the officers that work with her.

Kevin Ray @ 11/2/2011 8:33 PM

How can anybody justify the actions of the original officer that was speeding in excess of 100 mph? How can anyone fault the officer who stopped him? It is unbelievable that so many people fault the officer who stopped the errant officer rather than the guy who was driving at over 100 mph and refused to stop for miles. Didn't we all take an oath, take ethics courses, swear to uphold the law and protect the public? You guys need to take a look at yourselves and quit playing the "brother in blue" game. I am appalled at the postings. I pray to God that cops like you don't work where my parents and loved ones live.

ron @ 11/3/2011 12:34 AM

Thank God the trooper's firearm did'nt discharge and hurt or neutralize anyone, that would have been sad!

M @ 11/3/2011 10:12 AM

I think these comments are ridiculous. Everyone is talking about how the female officer did her job when they should be talking about what an embarassment the Miami cop is to law enforcement. As LEO, everything we do means nothing if we are unethical. This Miami cop obvioulsy has no regard for the speed limit (fine) but then he displayed complete disregard for the Officer trying to stop him. (Speeding 120mph = stupid, leading police on a 12 mile pursuit = criminal) I'd have my gun out to, you're just acting complacent and macho if you wouldn't have.

Deputy @ 11/3/2011 11:55 AM

Professionalism apparently is not taught at the Florida Highway patrol. You never cross your muzzle with someone or something you are not willing to destroy. How dare you attempt to kill your fellow law enforcement brother with your weapon. A total disregard with his life and citizens operating their vehicles on the roadway. The only thing I think you had in mind was to get promoted.

Fred @ 11/3/2011 12:46 PM

The FHP officer used poor judgement, plain and simple. Maybe the Miami cops shouldn't have been driving like he was, but her actions concern me more than his speeding. I question the FHP officer's decision-making skills.

JD @ 11/3/2011 3:17 PM

This is all very interesting. Evidently there are some law enforcement officers that think it's perfectly fine to jet over to a side job at night on the turnpike at 120+ and think nothing of it. Let me set these folks straight - that's breaking the law and you just lost the moral high ground. If it were me they would have taken me straight to jail. So I don't see why this guy deserved any special treatment at all. I'd throw the book at him, fine, and suspension or just fire the reckless idiot.

Kevin Raymond @ 11/3/2011 5:53 PM

Has everybody lost their minds? Why is the focus on the trooper who stopped the guy who was going 120 mph? Just like we all blame the bad guy for causing a crash during a pursuit, this entire incident was the fault of the original officer who was pulled over. There was no justification for what he did, so stop trying to blame somebody else. The original speeding officer was the jackass who refused to stop-he should be the one who is blamed. Think about what you guys are saying. We all took an oath and we should all stand by that oath. Good God. What is becoming of our profession?

Bobby @ 11/3/2011 9:16 PM

I have been LEO for over 28 years and a Chief. First yes the Police Officer used bad judgement and was speeding in a marked police car. Does not mean the Trooper should of stopped him, pointed a gun at him and handcuffed him. WRONG!! Trooper should of contacted a City Supervisor and told them what was going on for action to be taken. It was not needed to do a traffic stop on the Police Officer just get the car number. Bad judgement on both officers. The traffic violation should be dismissed with Police Chief taking action. But there also needs to be ACTION taken against the Trooper too. 2 Wrongs do not make it right. One day the Police Officer might have to back up the Trooper and save her life one day. Let us work together as professionals and not like kids.

fred @ 11/4/2011 6:16 AM

Bullcrap, the cop should be cited for speeding, wreckless indangerment amd eluding a police officer. Perhap even resisting.

Treat him like a civilian just as the average citizen would be treated. The cops should not be above the law!

Arnie Welber @ 11/4/2011 6:34 AM

Sad that a law enforcement official thinks going to a detail 'for so called important people' is more important then the rest of us on the road. Officer in question could have harmed himself and others. Such abuse of authority does nothing to benefit Public Safety and Law Enforcement. Further FHP Supervisor who suggested FHP trooper stand down might want to let us know if that is standard FHP practice for when observing a official vehicle doing 120 mph off duty with no pursuit lights flashing ? After that response from Supervisor we might go further.

All in all, we pray we all learned lesson from this 'bad break' for Officer Lopez and pray he does not lose his job and will think twice about actions and inactions off duty. Officer Lopez has no one to blame except himself. It was his own actions and inactions that directly put him in the position he is currently is and also Officer Lopez placed the FHP trooper in question in the position they are in. FHP Trooper did not put Officer Lopez in the position he is currently in :-)

Chris @ 11/4/2011 8:05 AM

As a member of the public you allegedly serve, I'm amazed how many of you think a fellow with such a wanton disregard for the law deserves preferential treatment. A "civilian," who would received the same treatment, would never get the same benefit of the doubt. And then you wonder why there is erosion of public trust. It's startling myopic.

Tom Ret @ 11/4/2011 7:53 PM

There is no question in my mind that the Miami officer used poor judgement when he decided to speed. If his speed was in fact 120 mph as reported coupled with other violations, then it adds weight to any reckless or negligent driving complaint against him. However, if the trooper was following at high speed absent the Miami officer actually trying to get away, this is not a pursuit as I know it and would not qualify as a felony. The trooper has a right to be suspicious and cautious
but drawing her gun, handcuffing the officer and removing his firearm
needs further justification in my mind to be a proper way to handle the situation. On the surface it seems to be over the top and an overreaction on the trooper's part. My comments are not meant to minimize the culpability of the Miami officer but it will likely be the trooper's actions that could lead to a much more serious problem-that being the erosion of respect and cooperation between these two agencies and possibly more . There have been previous bloggers who suggested that the trooper could have gone a different route internally and I agree. Going the internal route is not letting the Miami officer off the hook but the best way to handle the situation without causing much bigger problems. The natural question arises which is what will Miami PD do if they observe this trooper or other troopers speeding without cause through their jurisdiction? There have been ticket wars and other shenanigans between agencies in the past and this is how they likely get started. It serves no ones interests if they do.

Bill @ 11/5/2011 9:04 PM

I can not believe this trooper thought this patrol car was stolen for more than one reason, think about this why was she not calling for backup or her super, sounds like the trooper is one that thinks shes some body, As a superviser if this had been of my officers makeing this stop and do what she did she would be disiplined also i see all plenty of blame to go around she would be pushing a pen at the desk for awhile.

Lisa @ 11/7/2011 12:36 AM

I think the FHP trooper did the right thing arresting the Miami Officer. Come on 200MPH to go to an off duty job where no one's life was on the line. Are you serious? You have to be kidding me. If I rode my race bike on the highway at those speeds I'd be arrested, even on a closed course race track there's risk at those speeds. I don't know what the speed limit is on the section of road that they were on but I think it's safe to say 3 times the limit... That means he's going 3 times faster than everyone else. And it's a regular thing for this guy. How fast are the tires rated for and for how long can that speed be maintained before he has a blow out? would you want members of your family on the same highway with him doing those sorts of speeds? It's not just his skill here, there's other people on the road and all it takes is for some one to make a sudden lane change because they don't see him coming up and BAM all of a sudden we have carnage on the streets. What OFF Duty event could justify traveling at such a comparatively high rate of speed as to endanger the life of everyone around you.

Lisa @ 11/7/2011 12:57 AM

it is sad those that think that the trooper might have to rely on back up from the officer she stopped, that officer she stopped shouldn't be in a position to provide back up.

Chris @ 11/7/2011 8:45 AM

As a civilian I don't care who gets in trouble as long as both officers aren't above the law. If Ms Watts broke protocol then she should be disciplined accordingly. There is no question that Officer Lopez broke the law and, I'm certain, internal protocols (like using his squad card to go to his other job) of his department.
My issue is with all this bravado and "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" crap.
If as a police officer you want the respect of the citizens your sworn to protect, then understand that your not above the laws you claim to hold in such high regard. It makes me want to puke when MDPD and the Florida troopers wrangle with one another.
How can anyone have any confidence in the police when they can't objectively weigh in on this situation?

Tom Ret @ 11/7/2011 8:53 AM

Lisa-I presume your 200 mph post is a typo as no police car that I'm aware of goes that fast. I did not watch the video, how was the 120 mph substantiated? Was this speed possibly exaggerated by the trooper based on a pace or on radar? If on radar then I can believe it or at least assume it was an honest 120 mph. A lot of cars that I drove during my career would not do 120 mph.

Jon @ 11/7/2011 11:57 AM

A) Jay Peters, you're an idiot.
B) I'm tired of reading how inappropriate this trooper was. Her 'gross disregard for safety", etc. She was travelling at the same speed as the off duty officer. The offender should be dealt with administratively and his behavior condemned by the FOP. Their support is embarrassing. Next time he pulls someone over for speeding, if they say they're late for a part-time job can they get a pass?

J.D. @ 11/7/2011 12:51 PM

As a 27 yr veteran in a major city I can tell you that this whole thing was exstreamly unprofessional on both parties. At the moment of the stop- the Highway Patrol Officer- should have called her supervisor to the scene immediately for guidence in pursuing futher actions. The- Miami Officer- should have been released to his immediate supervisor. The Miami officer then should have been cited for reckless operation of a motor vehicle and any departmental

charges that should follow. If this had occured where I was employed, the Miami officer probably would have been fired.

RV @ 11/8/2011 6:03 AM

PROFESSIONALISM,RESPECT & COMMONS SENSE....I'm a 22 yrs. Police Officer and never in my carrer would I pullover another partol Unit unless HQ told me or my fellow officers about a STOLEN POLICE VEHICLE. After seeing the officer in full uniform she still did not use her head and assess the situation properly. A pursiut at that speed put herself,that officer and the public in danger. That situation could have turned out very wrong if the chase ended up in an MVA....Think about it...for a Traffic Violation...She let her emotions get the best of her in that situation. Both officers will face there supervisors and pay the price for their very stupid mistakes. All I can say is....My brother and sister officer...Stay Safe,Use your training & experience...and don't let something like this happen to you. Think before you act. STAY SAFE.

FPave @ 11/8/2011 1:12 PM

A police officer should not be going 120mph, unless in pursuit of another vehicle going that fast. His speed, his evasion, gave question to whether it was an officer in the vehicle. If someone had just stolen a police cruiser, then they may have access to police firearms as well. It would be foolish to assume that it was just another officer in the car. She was apprehending what may have been an armed criminal. Even if he was in uniform, it could've been someone impersonating a police officer in a stolen car. She could have waited for backup, but made a judgement call to attempt an arrest on what might have been an armed and dangerous criminal who'd stolen a police vehicle. There was no way to verify the individual driving the car was in fact the officer assigned to the car until they were detained, secured, and information checked. She was prudent to cuff what might have been a police impersonator. Verify, verify, verify. Otherwise, anyone can simply buy up an old police cruiser, paint it back up, and dress up in uniform to get out of anything.

Jon @ 11/19/2011 7:41 PM

I am with Henry and Richard Isaacs on this one.

scheherazade @ 3/27/2012 9:28 AM

Any normal person stopped for '120 + a chase' would have been at least slammed on the ground and cuffed. More likely beaten up, and possibly even shot out of sheer paranoia [by the officer assuming the worst as to why the driver didn't stop... something to hide? weapons?]. The fact remains, the speeding officer was participating in a criminal act. He was not in action, and he had no more right to speed than any civilian. Not recognizing that, is sheer self-exceptionalism on part of police. Being an officer does not excuse you from the law.

scheherazade @ 3/27/2012 10:12 AM

Any normal person stopped for '120 + a chase' would have been at least slammed on the ground and cuffed. More likely beaten up, and possibly even shot out of sheer paranoia [by the officer assuming the worst as to why the driver didn't stop... something to hide? weapons?]. The fact remains, the speeding officer was participating in a criminal act. He was not in action, and he had no more right to speed than any civilian. Not recognizing that, is sheer self-exceptionalism on part of police. Being an officer does not excuse you from the law.

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