At first glance, the video looks like a million others on YouTube — a wary citizen films a vertical cell phone video from her front seat as a stern police officer leans in. But then it's the driver who speaks up. The cop stands silently, looking mildly confused.
"The reason I pulled you over today," the woman behind the wheel says, "and I'm asking you to come over and have a conversation is because I saw you since Miller Drive when you first jumped onto the Palmetto and you were pushing 90 miles per hour."
This Bizarro World interaction apparently recently played out between a woman named Claudia Castillo and a so-far unidentified Miami-Dade Police officer. It ended with the officer apologizing and promising to drive more slowly in a viral clip that has now notched nearly 100,000 views since it was uploaded over the weekend.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating the video, says Det. Jennifer Capote, a department spokesperson. MDPD isn't identifying the officer in the meantime, though.
"MDPD has been made aware of a citizen video, which purportedly depicts an MDPD officer speeding in his assigned patrol vehicle," Juan J. Perez, MDPD's acting director, says in a statement. "We take all complaints seriously. In this case, the officer's chain of command will investigate the matter and take the appropriate course of action."
The video was filmed Friday, according to Castillo's description on YouTube, and first noted by Photography Is Not a Crime. In a series of three clips, Castillo races after the officer from the Palmetto Expressway onto the Dolphin Expressway.
"I know he was going about 100 miles per hour because I was hitting 80 and I could not catch up to him," Castillo says in the first video.
As the cruiser merges onto I-95 southbound, she's able to get his attention at the NW Eighth Street exit. "I'm sure he's a good guy, but no one is above the law," Castillo says. "You need to lead by example."
After explaining to the officer why she followed him and asked him to pull over, the cop at first disagrees that he was breaking the limit. "I'm on the way to work right now," the officer says. "I don't believe I was speeding."
But when she presses him, he says, "Well, then I apologize. I'll be sure to slow down then."
As delightful as it is to see the tables turned on a speeding cop — a particular problem in South Florida, as a Sun Sentinel investigation recently showed — MDPD's chief also cautioned Miamians not to start a vigilante patrol on officers.
"We also take this opportunity to remind the public that we have a complaint process in place. We prefer that no one places themselves or the community at risk in an attempt to capture alleged misconduct," Perez says, directing concerned residents to call the Professional Compliance Bureau at 305-627-7100 or email email@example.com.
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