How often does one grainy police video end up capturing the best and worst of local cops? One on side, there's Fausto Lopez -- a 35-year-old Miami police officer whose name immediately joins the bad cop pantheon of Adam Tavss, Derick Kuilan and Lavont Flanders after he led a Florida Highway Patrol trooper on a 120-mile-per-hour, four-minute dash along the Turnpike.
On the other, though, the footage shows remarkable work by a trooper named D.J. Watts. Instead of the usual good ol' boys policy of letting another cop's bad behavior slide, Watts arrests Lopez at gunpoint and tells it like it is: "To me, you are a criminal."
Amen to that!
Here's the video:
After his arrest, which happened back on Oct. 11 around 6:30 in the morning, Lopez was charged with misdemeanor dangerous driving.
The video of his joyride went viral on the web this weekend -- for obvious reasons. How often do you see a cop arrest another cop with such outrage over his bullshit behavior?
But it leaves a whole raft of questions for Miamians.
Like why do only 10 percent of Miami cops actually live in Miami, a situation that leaves guys like Lopez scorching at three times the speed limit to get to an off-duty gig on time?
And what is acting Miami police chief Manuel Orosa going to have to do to change the culture over at MPD? Granted, Lopez's arrest came just a couple weeks after Orosa took over -- but it's a stark reminder that sacking Miguel Exposito didn't instantly solve the deep-seeded issues in the department.
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All the chief would tell the Miami Herald this morning is that "we're investigating internally."
If Lopez is back on the streets in a couple weeks with an IA slap on the wrist, it's going to feel an awful lot like the Expo Era never really ended.