New video of troopers speeding shows growing inter-agency war

8:03 AM, Nov 9, 2011   |    comments
Trooper Donna Watts arrests Miami Officer Fausto Lopez
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MIAMI (CBS4) - Recently released amateur video of two Florida Highway Patrol troopers apparently speeding down a highway appears to be the latest jab thrown at FHP.

CBS4 News partners Univision say the video was shot by an unidentified police officer, allegedly last Thursday on the Florida Turnpike and given to the press.

It appears to be a direct response to the video leaked last month of FHP Trooper Donna Watts pulling over and briefly detaining Miami Police officer Fausto Lopez at gunpoint for reckless driving while he sped to an off-duty job.

Law enforcement sources say that incident caused major friction between the agencies, and the new video of the speeding troopers appears to be the latest in the slugfest.

FHP Union President Bill Smith told CBS4's Natalia Zea that his agency would investigate the speeding troopers, if the officer who shot the video would come forward with more information.

"Are your guys being targeted on the street by other officers?" Zea asked Trooper Smith.

"Well you start to get that feeling. You start to get that impression because troopers are not going out looking for police officers in marked cars or unmarked cars, that's not our goal," said Trooper Smith.

Rumors of street cops giving payback to FHP troopers abound, and in at least one case an FHP patrol car was vandalized.

Over the weekend, Miami City Commissioner-turned-trooper Joe Sanchez left his Miami home and later discovered his patrol car had human excrement all over the windshield and the side of the car. It appeared to have come from a Port-O-Potty.

"I think it's just some disgruntled employees of other agencies, hopefully it's not the City of Miami, I don't know," said Trooper Smith, adding that the incident is still under investigation.

Despite this brewing battle, Trooper Smith says everyone behind a badge will help each other when it counts.

"They might glare at each other but I really honestly think they'll be back there to back each other up."

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