Florida Highway Patrol
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jane Watts approaches Miami Police Officer Fausto Lopez during a traffic stop.
A state investigation has concluded that a trooper who pulled over a City of Miami police officer "used her judgment and discretion afforded to her."
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jane Watts stopped Fausto Lopez's speeding City of Miami police vehicle on Oct. 11 on the Florida Turnpike.
Fausto was traveling 120 mph when he passed Watts' vehicle. Watts told investigators that Fausto was driving recklessly and that he would not stop for her when she put on her emergency lights.
After orders from her supervisor Sgt. Reynaldo Sanchez to "back off," Watts applied the brakes and turned off her emergency lights. She continued to follow the marked vehicle at a "high rate of speed," said the report from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' Investigations Unit.
Lopez pulled over his vehicle after seven minutes.
Watts said she left her car and drew her firearm because she thought that the patrol car may have been stolen because it was being driven recklessly. Watts told investigators she put the gun down when she saw Lopez in uniform, but continued to handcuff and detain him because he had "intentionally fled."
The investigators said the confusion began when Watts ignored Sanchez's order to back off, according to the report. Watts took "back off" to mean slow down and continue rather than to stop the pursuit, she said in the report.
Watts has been a trooper for 15 years.
Lopez's reckless driving charge is still pending.
The event preceded the traffic stop of a trooper by a City of Miami police officer in November. The City of Miami officer was given a warning.