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?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
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.
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.