MIAMI, FLORIDA – A Miami police officer who made headlines after he was pulled over on the Florida Turnpike by a Florida Highway Patrol officer for speeding has been fired.
Fausto Lopez was fired by Miami Police on Thursday. This comes more than a month after an internal investigation into the matter determined that he should be terminated.
The internal probe found that Officer Lopez showed a “practice and pattern” of reckless speeding. Lopez routinely clocked speeds of more than 100 miles per hour while off duty between September and November 2011, according to the report.
Officially, Lopez has been clocked going more than 90 miles per hour more than 80 times.
Lopez was clocked by state trooper Donna Jane Watts doing 120 mph on October 11, 2011.
When he finally pulled over, she arrested the uniformed officer at gunpoint, although reports came out later that a supervisor had told her to “back off” and not pull Lopez over. Lopez later said he was on his way to an off-duty assignment.
Watts told state investigators that she continued to follow his squad car because she feared the vehicle was stolen since she believed no officer would drive so fast and so dangerously. Video of the 7-minute pursuit made national news and ignited a firestorm between his department and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Lopez pled no contest to a reckless driving charge; a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail.