Editor’s note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a retired police chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the evil Khan is about ready to strand Admiral Kirk and members of the Enterprise crew on a remote planet. In talking about revenge, Khan quotes an old Klingon proverb: “Revenge is a dish best served cold…and it’s very cold…in space.”
For Miami’s soon to be former police chief Art Acevedo, he is about to experience a version of that up close and personal, according to KHOU-11 Houston.
Acevedo, a diva who has seen himself as a sort of a version of “America’s chief” is apparently out as Miami’s police chief after only six months on the job.
When Acevedo was hired away from Houston, where few tears were shed by officers at his departure, he was branded by Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez as the “Michael Jordan” of police chiefs.
What he turned out to be, however was the Colin Kaepernick of police chiefs…all bluster, no talent.
Acevedo’s tenure in Miami was marked by one controversy after another. He fired two high-ranking Miami police officers, accusing them of improperly reporting an accident. He threatened to fire officers who refused to get the COVID vaccine.
Several months ago, he suspended a decorated officer, accusing him of flashing “white power signs” in a photograph, signs that he himself had used during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.
More recently, he was accused of failing to report damage to his city-owned vehicle in a timely manner, and insulted city leaders by saying the department was being run by “the Cuban Mafia.”
In other words, much like the current occupant of the White House, Acevedo was a one-man pandemic.
However the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak was a recent issue where city commissioners accused Acevedo of threatening them after an eight-page diatribe.
In two boisterous city commission meetings over the past month, commissioners appointed an investigative committee with subpoena power to investigate Acevedo’s appointment in the first place, which fell outside of the city’s in-progress search for a new leader.
The eight-page memo sent by Acevedo to City Manager Art Noriega alleged that Commissioner Joe Carollo and other commissioners were “interfering” with internal affairs investigations, while also accusing them of ordering police resources to be deployed against certain businesses “based on nothing more than the whims of commissioners.”
For Noriega, that was apparently enough.
“Today I suspended Police Chief Art Acevedo with the intent to terminate his employment consistent with the city charter.
“The relationship between the Chief and the organization and needed to be resolved promptly,” Noriega said. “In particular, the relationship between the Chief and the Police Department he leads—as well as with the community—has deteriorated beyond repair. Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style and unfortunately Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization.
“Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization,” he said in a statement announcing Acevedo’s suspension and pending termination.
Noriega said the city would be moving forward to search for a new chief and said in the meantime, Assistant Police Chief Manny Morales would be appointed as interim chief while a new search is conducted.
“As this matter remains a personnel matter between employee and employer, I will have no further comment at this time.”
Acevedo’s appointment in Miami came as he left Houston in far worse shape than he found it, and it is pretty safe to say there were no tears shed when he left. He claimed he wasn’t looking for a new job when he got the position in Miami (yeah, ok) and said he took the job as a “journey of faith.”
In hiring Acevedo, who never met a television camera he didn’t like, Noriega pointed to his track record, dynamic personality and enthusiasm when announcing the hire.
“He was the first Hispanic to lead the Houston Police Department which really helps him understand the complex issues in the Hispanic community and will help make a smooth transition to the Magic City,” Noriega said.
Last week, Manolo Reyes, a city commissioner told WSVN-TV that “the only thing we asked for him was to be a chief. Not be a politician. Not to be a critic for any elected official, the judges, and the state attorney. Just do his job as chief.”
Acevedo has had a contentious relationship with the Miami Fraternal Order of Police as well, who commissioned a no-confidence vote whereby fully three-quarters of those polled said they had no confidence in Acevedo’s leadership.
Over his career particularly in Houston, Acevedo inserted himself in a number of controversial issues such as gun control, showing himself as an advocate of depriving individuals of their second amendment rights. As such, he was often sought out by liberal media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and others to give the “law enforcement” perspective on issues, despite the fact his opinions flew counter to that of a majority of police officers.
Recently, “red light” Acevedo (the most dangerous place in America is between Acevedo and a television camera) expressed “disappointment” after the White House didn’t invite him for a discussion on gun violence with government officials.
“It’s disappointing. Violent crime is impacting a big portion of this country but its disproportionately impacting big [Democratic fun] big cities,” Acevedo said. “And to not have the big city chiefs there—we’re already off to a challenging start.”
On cue, Acevedo went to his favorite media outlet, CNN to express his disappointment with Biden (or whoever is running the show) not inviting his so-called “expertise” to the table.
In a rare moment of not talking about himself, Acevedo acknowledged the criminal justice system is the problem.
“What we want to hear from the president is a commitment to look at what’s going on with our criminal justice system, with courts systems that are shut down, but judges and prosecutors that are coddling violent criminals.”
Touché! He didn’t blame guns…for once.
We must admit that not having Acevedo around as our favorite punching bag is going to suck. He literally gives us something to report on nearly every week. However just like all self-aggrandizing dirtbags have a way of resurfacing (see Joe Biden), so too will this guy we’re afraid.
Do not be surprised if you see him named as the U.S. Marshal for some state in the near future by the Biden administration, which clearly recognizes partisan hacks when they see them.
In the meantime we will just relish in the thought that Acevedo doesn’t have brother and sister officers to kick around any longer, stepping on their corpses as he climbs the law enforcement ladder.
Sometimes people get what they deserve…karma. Art Acevedo, remember Khan…”revenge is a dish best served cold.” It is pretty cold on the unemployment line. Want a blanket?
One of our favorite stories about Acevedo is recently when a series of mobile billboards appeared around the city of Miami ripping him for various controversies he’s been involved in. From Austin to Houston to Miami, they didn’t miss much. In case you missed it, we invite you to:
MIAMI, FL- The mayor of Miami apparently has no sense of humor. Mayor Francis Suarez came out upset and angry about mobile billboards driving around the city which are taking potshots at Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose term in that position has proven interesting to say the least since he arrived in the city earlier this year, Miami Watch wrote on Substack.
In an email sent from his personal account, Suarez described the billboards as “pathetic.”
“This is beyond any bounds of decency and pathetic,” Suarez wailed in the message.
On Monday, there was a rather contentious city commission meeting where Suarez was quite noticeably not in attendance. Perhaps it was because it was Suarez who recommended Acevedo’s hiring in the first place, describing him as “the Michael Jordan” of police chiefs.
Conversely, Suarez was known as “the Lebron James of self-promotion” when he served in Houston, Texas, a diva who was always seeking media attention.
Since Acevedo’s arrival in South Beach, he has been involved in one high-profile situation after another. Suarez bears much of the responsibility for what is occurring because it was he who actively recruited Acevedo and in doing so bypassed a selection process that was already in progress.
He has offered no comment about the adventures of Acevedo as incidents continue to pile up.
Suarez’s absence from the commission meeting was duly noted by the editorial board of the Miami Herald, who was curious about his absence.
They noted that the meeting started out as a “legitimate evaluation of Acevedo’s behavior,” noting a series of “missteps, blunders and gaffes, which included “ticking off Commissioner Joe Carollo.”
The Herald noted that Suarez “owns all of this,” having skirted the selection process for a chief of police that was well under way, likening the media magnet Acevedo as something of a rock star.
When asked about Suarez’s absence from the commission meeting, a spokesman for Suarez told the Editorial Board that he was indeed in the building and was “monitoring” the meeting, also noting that his attendance at the meeting was not necessary.
“Miami’s mayor owns all of this,” the Editorial Board wrote.
So what did the commission meeting entail? Basically the aforementioned “ticked off” commissioner Carollo with an entire detailed background of Acevedo with details about Acevedo’s law enforcement career, courtesy of a page called “Meet Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.”
All of the below indictments of Acevedo’s career from his time as a California Highway Patrol officer through Austin, Houston and now Miami are outlined on the series of mobile billboards traveling throughout Miami. Carollo used those as a basis for his reasoning for questioning Acevedo’s hiring in the first place.
What are some of Acevedo’s highlights over his “illustrious” career?
Took sexually explicit photos of a woman who later sued him for sexual harassment:
As an officer with the California Highway Patrol, Acevedo was sued in federal court for $5 million by a woman with whom he had a months-long affair with a woman after he allegedly kept sexually explicit Polaroid photographs in the glove box of his state-issued car and showed them to law enforcement friends.
Acevedo admitted having the photos and said a colleague in the CHP “accidentally” saw the photos. A confidential settlement was reached.
Was sued by three sexual assault survivors in Austin and Travis County, Texas for “denying female victims of sexual assault…their right to ‘equal access to justice and equal protection of the law.’
This came about with Acevedo “have instead disbelieved, dismissed and denigrated female victims of sexual assault, failed to have DNA evidence tested for years at a time and refused to investigate or prosecute cases of sexual assault.”
Among accusations were that Acevedo allowed “a massive backlog of untested rape kids” to pile up during his tenure as chief of the Austin (TX) Police Department, permitted the posting of “a wall in [the department’s] sexual assault unit on which numerous pictures of female victims were posted—each one representing a ‘false report’ that officers had unilaterally determined had no merit.
He was also accused of permitting a toxic culture whereby allegations of sexual assault between officers on the Austin PD were blown off as “bad sex” or “something the female officer just regretted after the fact, despite evidence demonstrating injury to the female officer.”
Couldn’t be bothered to arrest people who committed sexual assaults
In Acevedo’s final year as chief in Austin, out of 747 reported rapes that year, the department only made 132 arrests, with the department claiming it “cleared” an additional 256 cases in what they called “exceptional” clearances.
According to a leading expert on police investigations of sexual assault cases, he told ProPublica that classifying rape cases in that way was “misleading at best and duplicitous at worst.”
In addition, the sergeant who supervised the Sex Crimes Unit at the time said she felt pressure from the department’s leadership to “clear” more cases using the “exceptional circumstances” designation.
Officers who were recorded telling a woman as she walked by, “Go ahead and call the cops. They can’t unrape you.”
Acevedo gave the two officers a mere slap on the wrist, and they were retained as Austin police officers. Under a year later, one of the same two officers was caught on camera belittling a handicapped homeless woman in a wheelchair.
Acevedo called the officer’s conduct “rude” and “unprofessional,” but the officer went unpunished.
Acevedo was repeatedly reprimanded by the City of Austin during his tenure
In 2011, Acevedo was tagged with “operational and judgment concerns” from the city manager and instructed, “I expect you to exercise proper judgment.
In 2013, he was once again reprimanded for threatening to launch a baseless internal affairs investigation after which his conduct was called “inappropriate and unacceptable” from the City Attorney’s office and directed “to apologize…in person and in writing.”
Finally, in 2016 Acevedo was docked five days of pay for inappropriate public comments after the killing of an unarmed teenager by an Austin police officer. The city manager again excoriated Acevedo, writing that “this matter again concerns me with your lack of judgment” and “your failure to follow my directives in this matter.”
Acevedo was accused of “the offense of insubordination “ against the city manager and was threatened with “additional personnel action up to and including termination.”
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Acevedo was then rewarded for those transgressions with the chief’s job in Houston, where things didn’t go much better.
Murders went virtually unsolved during Acevedo’s tenure in Houston
In 2011, the Houston PD solved roughly 89% of murders in the city. An investigative report conducted by the Houston Chronicle last year found the murder solve rate had dropped to 49%, a precipitous decline.
The solve rate dropped every year that Acevedo served as police chief; internal audits showed that Acevedo’s staff blamed him for policy decisions that reduced the overall number of homicide detectives.
A botched drug raid in Houston left two people and a dog dead, shot by Houston police officers
Acevedo claimed in the immediate aftermath that the narcotics squad “heroically made entry” and that he was “really proud of them,’ however a Washington Post investigation showed discrepancies between Acevedo’s version of events and video evidence provided by neighbors and independent investigators.
In fact, gunshots can be heard outside the home some 30 minutes after Acevedo claimed the raid had ended. Despite evidence to the contrary, Acevedo continued to praise the officers who were involved as “heroes,” and even described the officers as “victims.”
Meanwhile, the Miami lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police has mailed a survey to its members in order to gauge support for Acevedo. This is seen as a vote of no confidence in his leadership. Things do not bode well for him.
According to CBS Miami, FOP President Tommy Reyes says he doesn’t have the backing of his officers.
“People demoted for no reason, a captain was rolled back to lieutenant for no reason at all and discipline has been handed out like he was giving out Halloween candy,” Reyes said.
“I hear mafia and I think, criminal enterprise. I think somebody is selling drugs or money laundering or I do not know of any of that going on.”
Reyes was referring to a comment made by Acevedo a couple of weeks back, in which he said that Miami “is run by the Cuban mafia,” a derogatory term which raised the ire of many in the community, including on the city commission.
Reyes also criticized the process under which Acevedo was hired, telling CBS Miami that he wasn’t happy with how the process came about, how Acevedo was hired, and how he basically jumped ahead of other candidates who had been fully vetted. He said he would like to see the process for selecting a chief changed in the future.
Oh, and Acevedo apparently owns a $1.75 million home in a very white neighborhood in Miami.
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