Cop vs. Cop in Florida -- Who is Right?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Topic number one among police officers all over the country is the confrontation between two cops in Florida, with one of them arresting another one.

On October 11 Florida State Trooper Donna Watts saw a Miami police car speeding on a highway, Thinking the vehicle might have been stolen, Watts gave chase -- at speeds of up to 120 miles an hour. Instead of a car thief, Miami police officer Fausto Lopez was behind the wheel. He explained he was speeding to an off-duty job.

Watts did not show any professional courtesy; rather, with gun drawn, she screamed at Lopez, handcuffed him and tossed him in the back of her squad car. He was later charged with dangerous driving.

But the story does not end there. Many officers are critical of Watts, saying once she realized Lopez was a cop, she should have showed him some respect.

“I felt the gun should have been put away and I don’t think she should have made the physical arrest,” Francis “Bucky” Greene, a former Miami-Dade sergeant and retired police trainer, told the Miami Herald. “If she called a supervisor to come to the scene, I think the guy would have his [city-owned] car taken away on the spot.”

Another officer said Watts made much ado about nothing.

“This is not police corruption,’’ said retired North Miami Police Maj. Bob Lynch. “These are not criminal offenses, but traffic violations.”

The public has a very different view of things, saying cops should not be allowed to break any laws, including speed limits.

“I can’t remember a single time where a police car was ever following posted speed limits. All of them — and I mean all of them save for FHP — get on the left-most side of the highway and speed with impunity," said Joe Canas, responding to an online questionnaire from the Herald.

The video has gone viral: