Miami police chief suspends officer for flashing hand symbol – gets caught flashing exact same signal

Share:

The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

MIAMI, FL- Of all the insufferable frauds serving as police chiefs in the country, Miami chief Art Acevedo has got to be at the top of the list.

For the most part and with very few exceptions, police chiefs in larger cities are typically political suck ups who get the job because they have the right political party next to their name or carry the water for city officials.

Acevedo, who just came to Miami from Houston, Texas, where he left that city’s department in a shambles, recently suspended police officer Daniel Ubeda for using a hand gesture alleged by some to be a white supremacist symbol in a photo posted to social media.

The far-left so-called “Anti-Defamation League” claims the symbol, reminiscent to an “OK” sign is a symbol of white supremacy.

Miami police chief suspends officer for flashing hand symbol - gets caught flashing exact same signal
Miami Off. Finner suspended for using same hand sign as chief who suspended him-YouTube screenshot

Now, a Miami television station, WPLG Local 10 has received a photo of Acevedo using that same exact hand signal at an event when he was chief of Houston.

The outlet said they spoke to Houston’s current Chief of Police Troy Finner, who was present when the photo of Acevedo was taken as he was “throwing up the threes.”

Miami police chief suspends officer for flashing hand symbol - gets caught flashing exact same signal
Miami police chief Art Acevedo suspends officer for using same symbol he did-YouTube screenshot

“That’s at Jack Yates High School, Third Ward. There’s so much pride. That’s a historically African American community in Houston. If you talk to any Third Ward person, they call it ‘throwing up the threes,’” Finner said.

“These individuals are extremely proud,” Finner said. “They asked the chief to come throw up the Third Ward sign and he did.”

Acevedo was out of town at a conference and unable to comment on the picture, who referred Local 10 to Finner.

Finner said the signal was actually tribute to career criminal George Floyd, with Acevedo’s picture being taken three weeks after his death in Minneapolis.

“I was there that day,” said Finner. “It was a celebration of George Floyd,” he told the Miami Herald.  

Yup, ok.

Local 10 said a quick Internet search found singer Beyonce, a black by the way, flashing the same exact sign. So, is it a racist symbol or not? 

The sign has also been flashed by others such as social justice warrior and part-time NBA player the overrated LeBron James. LeBron James is clearly a white supremacist:

The Miami Police Union, already in a contentious relationship with Acevedo for his telling officers who don’t want to get vaccinated to look elsewhere for employment, posted a picture of Acevedo “throwing up the threes” on their Twitter page entitled “Do as I say not as I do.”

Ubeda was suspended by Acevedo last week while internal affairs looks into the picture taken with six other members of his squad, in which Ubeda flashes the exact same hand gesture used by Acevedo.

Tommy Reyes, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police said the picture wasn’t meant to go public.

“This was meant to be private between him and his six guys,” Reyes said. “It was not supposed to be posted on Twitter.”

According to Reyes, Ubeda who flashed the “threes” with both of his hands said the gesture referred to “six” of his colleagues on his shift and not white power. He also noted that Ubeda’s supervisor as well as the commander who tweeted the photo are black, and they never raised any issues with the hand gesture.

There may be a lot more to the story, however. Acevedo, who has never met a left-wing cause he doesn’t believe in, likely heard about an incident from last year involving Ubeda.

In October, he was photographed at a local polling station wearing his full uniform and wearing a face mask that read, “Trump 2020 No More Bullshit,” as reported at the time by Law & Crime.  

The image went viral on social media, with one whiner claiming it amounted to “city funded voter intimidation,” while calling for the officer’s immediate suspension. Cry us a river.

The police department released a statement shortly after the photo went viral and said it was being “addressed immediately.”

“We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami Police officer wearing a political mask in uniform. This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately,” the department wrote on Twitter at the time.

If anyone thinks Acevedo is above using his office for political retribution, they should think again.

This is of course another in a long line of people taking a simple signal and making it into something it isn’t.

For example, last year a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy! was slammed by the Twitterverse for allegedly flashing the “white power” sign commonly known among normal people to mean “OK” when she won his third straight final.

NBA players commonly flash the symbol when they hit a 3-point shot.

In other words, this is an outrage in search of a problem.

Acevedo might want to rethink his suspension of this officer for something that clearly was not what he claims it to be.

Still, the symbol is not without its controversy, with the New York Times reporting in 2019 that Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and other white nationalists are known to use the gesture in public “to signal their presence and to spot potential sympathizers and recruits.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

For our previous story on the Miami police union’s introduction to Acevedo’s tyrannical ways, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today

MIAMI, FL- A number of unions have weighed in on forced COVID vaccinations for their members, and a large majority are opposed to it. Now, based on requests from their members, a number of police unions, including the country’s largest have come out against the practice, Newsmax reports citing an Axios story.

The Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 356,000 officers across the US, while saying the vaccines are safe and recommends its members get vaccinated, has come out and will not support mandates requiring members to get the vaccine.

“We are a union, and we will defend our members,” FOP executive director Jim Pasco told Axios. “You cannot tell people what to do. It’s still an individual and personal choice.”

Pasco also blasted officials who have threatened to terminate officers over defying vaccination mandates.

In particular, he singled out political hack Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, former chief of the Houston Police Department where they no doubt held a big party when he left. Acevedo came out recently and told officers who were refusing the vaccination to work elsewhere if they don’t want to get jabbed.

“That’s management’s tantrum,” Pasco said. “That’s not going to work. Have a conversation and encourage officers but don’t act childish.”

Acting childish is nothing new for Acevedo, who as he walked out the door in Houston predicted the homicide rate in Houston would rise, no doubt after he took his “stellar leadership” to South Beach.

Acevedo is something of a media whore, always willing to knock people out of his way when he sees the red light of a television camera. Think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without the white pantsuit crying at a fake border fence.

In Texas, Acevedo’s penchant for finding the cameras wasn’t lost on political leaders in the state, with one cracking, “He loves the camera more than [Representative] Sheila Jackson Lee.”

Acevedo had fancied himself a future mayor of Houston, however as the abrasive one started looking for support, he found out he wasn’t as popular as he thought he was.

As Texas Monthly noted, Acevedo engaged in routine virtue signaling in the wake of the overdose death of George Floyd—posing with local protesters for photo ops, changing his Twitter profile picture to Floyd, spent more time on television than the scroll at the bottom of your favorite cable news channel.

Yet for all his sucking up, he enjoyed little support in the black community, and Mexican Americans didn’t care for him all that much either.

So it isn’t surprising that Acevedo, who has been the police chief in Miami for less than six months, is already endearing himself to the officers of the Miami Police Department.

Miami isn’t the only city that has said they will implement vaccine mandates. New York’s outgoing inept communist mayor Bill de Blasio said that by Sept. 13, “every single city employee will be expected to be either vaccinated or tested weekly. This means everybody…this means the NYPD.”

De Blasio, who is hated as much among the NYPD as Lori Lightfoot is in Chicago among that police department promised there would be “consequences” and he would be “very tough if a city government employee does not wear a mask and they are unvaccinated.”

Last week, Denver’s public safety manager promised he will discipline police officers and sheriff’s deputies who refuse to get vaccinated after his mandate to do so.

CBS Denver reported that according to a Denver Police Protective Association survey, around 57% of that organization’s members are not vaccinated. Well, you can’t suspend or fire all of them, can you?

Meanwhile in the City by the Bay, San Francisco, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association guaranteed its members will resign en masse or seek early retirement over Mayor London Breed’s vaccine mandate for officers. That association said about a quarter of their deputies are not vaccinated due to religious or other beliefs.

Across the country, a significant number of first responders remain unvaccinated, no doubt concerned about a vaccine that is still in emergency authorization and has yet to be approved by the FDA, which is still without a leader over six months after Biden’s inauguration.

In Los Angeles, around half of the LAPD is not vaccinated. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that a 10th employee of the agency died last week from complications of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the president of the Van Buren Township police and dispatchers union in Michigan told The Detroit News that somewhere around 20% of police and fire officials had threatened to quit if they were forced to get vaccinated.

According to estimates provided by the Fraternal Order of Police, an estimated 500 officers have died from the coronavirus. No statistics are available to show how many officers may have contracted the virus on the job, or how many have spread the virus.

Much of the resistance to the vaccine has come about due to the porous southern border, where tens of thousands of illegal aliens have crossed into the United States, many sick with the coronavirus, and then have been disseminated across the country.

The belief is, if the Biden administration is serious about dealing with COVID as they say they are, they would shut the US-Mexico border.

Some legal experts say employers have the right to mandate vaccinations as a condition of employment, however collective bargaining agreements may trump that.

“Does the state generally have the power to impose vaccination requirements on workers? Historically, the answer has been yes,” said South Texas College of Law at Houston law professor Josh Blackman to Axios.

“Unions don’t like to yield ground,” he said. “They like to fight for every single benefit. So if they’re suddenly giving up members’ rights, then they’re perhaps giving ground for some future collective bargaining battle.”

Stay tuned. When cops dig their heels in, they’re hard to move.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Meanwhile, we recently reported on the San Francisco mask mandate. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

The following contains partial editorial content which is the opinion of the author.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Follow the “science,” right? A number of sheriff’s deputies with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department are threatening to resign over the recent dictate that they be forced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Epoch Times.

The sheriff’s union last week said a number of deputies will look for employment elsewhere or seek early retirement if they are required to subject themselves to the still-experimental jab.

City officials in San Francisco recently announced they will be forcing all city employees to be vaccinated or face termination. There are around 35,000 city employees subject to the mandate.

Some may be able to escape the mandate for religious or medical reasons, however anyone who refuses the shot without such an exemption are facing termination, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The union, in a Facebook post last Friday wrote that the mandate was out of step from the policy mandated by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, which offered regular COVID testing as an alternative.

 

In a statement, the sheriffs union said:

“The SFDSA has always promoted Covid-19 Safety and has given out masks as well as face shields to first responders and the public during the peak of the pandemic. We believe the data and science speaks for itself and that masking works.

The problem we are faced with now is the strict San Francisco Mandate which is vaccinate or be terminated. If deputy sheriffs are forced to vaccinate a percentage of them will retire early or seek employment elsewhere.

 The majority of Deputy Sheriffs are vaccinated. Approximately 160 out of 700 Deputy Sheriffs are not vaccinated, [and] prefer to mask and test weekly instead of being vaccinated due to religious and other beliefs. Currently, the staffing at the SFSO is at the lowest it has ever been due to the past 9-month applicant testing restriction placed on the Sheriff’s Office by the Mayor.

San Francisco cannot afford to lose any more deputy sheriffs or any responders. If they retire early or quit this will affect public safety even more. We would like San Francisco to be in alignment with the state guidelines which are [sic] require vaccination or test weekly.”

In a statement to the Chronicle, the city’s director of human resources, Carol Isen said:

“It’s really a decision for the health and safety of our employees and our public that we serve.”

The city didn’t address those who have already had the virus and who may have natural antibodies to prevent further infection. Some sources say that vaccinating people who have had the virus and have the antibodies is counterproductive and may in fact be dangerous. However the Associated Press is reporting that the mask mandate is to be obeyed by everyone, including the vaccinated.

San Francisco as well as six other bay area counties have reinstated a mask mandate for all indoor public activities due to the so-called “Delta” variant, a more transmissible but less deadly version of COVID.

 

“It is unfortunate we have to do this at this point in the pandemic. None of us wanted to be here,” said Dr. George Han, deputy health officer for Santa Clara County, “but the virus has changed.”

Don’t bet that this isn’t exactly where they wanted to be. What’s the saying? “Power corrupts…absolute power corrupts, absolutely.”

As to San Francisco, losing more of its law enforcement personnel will only exacerbate the current crime crisis in the city, which has seen crime soaring and feckless Mayor London Breed promising to defund the San Francisco PD by $120 million to put into “social” programs.

Last year San Francisco experienced a 35% rise in homicides, while so-called “petty” crimes such as shoplifting and public nuisance crimes also exploded.

The refusal of Soros-funded District Attorney Chesa Boudin to prosecute shoplifting crimes has led to an exodus of businesses from San Francisco. There is currently an effort underway to recall Boudin, similar to that of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

For more on the out-of-control crime problems in San Francisco, we invite you to read one of our prior reports:

DIG DEEPER

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Law Enforcement Today (LET) recently reported on the impact of the crime wave in San Francisco as brazen thieves continue to loot stores in the Bay Area.

Now, stores and properties, including Target, are announcing that they are cutting store hours to reduce their losses. According to ABC7, Target stores normally stay open until 10 p.m. in most cities around the country, but the stores in San Francisco will now be closing at 6 p.m.

The company confirmed that for more than a month their stores have experienced an alarming rise in theft and security incidents, similar to reports from other retail stores in the area.

A Target spokesperson said in a statement:

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area. Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns.

“With the safety of our guests, team members, and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

Target is not the only store in San Francisco that has made changes to its hours or operations because of the continuous shoplifting. After 10 p.m. the 7-Eleven on Drumm St. in the Financial District only does business through a metal door. 

Before a customer can even get inside, they must ring a bell to let them know you are outside. Manager Bobby Singh said in a statement:

“This window was installed like two or three months ago because it was not safe. Sometimes they would break that glass of the door.”

Walgreens recently announced it is also closing stores because of the inability to keep people from continuously stealing from its stores.

Reportedly, the ongoing thefts have been dubbed “organized retail theft,” but it appears to be more like looting since several people invade a store at once and grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing. 

According to Walgreens, theft in their San Francisco stores is four times more than the average in stores across the country. The company also stated that they spend 35 times more on hiring security personnel for its stores in San Francisco. In the past five years, Walgreens has closed 17 stores in the Bay Area. 

The Public Policy Institute of California’s research shows San Francisco has the lowest arrest rate of any police department in California.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a statement:

“That answer does speak to staffing. I mean it’s direct and this is not an excuse, this is a reality. In order for us to be at these locations when these things happen, the officers have to have time to be there.”

Reportedly, in 1994 voters passed Proposition D, which mandated that there be 1,971 fully duty officers. However, San Francisco has never reached that goal. In 2020, amid calls to defund the police, the board of supervisors changed the police department’s budget.

Now, Mayor London Breed is proposing an increase to the police department’s budget and has urged supervisors to support the move. In response to Target cutting their hours, Breed says that is not the answer.

The mayor said:

“We need to make sure when these crimes occur that there is an accountability component. When police make an arrest which they have, which you saw on the news with the guy on the bike an arrest had been made. Will they be held accountable for what they did?”

https://twitter.com/TampaBayAJ/status/1411444972512022529

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai has also stepped in. He has asked both the police department and the District Attorney’s office to come up with a coordinated plan to reduce the organized retail crime and find out why San Francisco is apparently targeted more than anywhere else.

Safai said:

“These are people who are recruited, organized and are reselling these goods and San Francisco is hurting for it.”

Safai has given the police and DA’s office a week to come up with an answer. 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Walgreens has closed 17 stores in Nancy Pelosi’s police-defunded San Francisco due to ‘out of control’ shoplifting

May 17th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Thanks to widespread and persistent shoplifting, 17 Walgreens Pharmacy locations have shuttered in San Francisco during the past five years.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, shoplifting did decrease during the coronavirus pandemic, but police also told the news outlet that “incidents are often underreported and have become more violent and brazen.”

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the San Francisco Chronicle that the situation is “out of control,” adding:

“People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly.”

Longtime Walgreens customer Sebastian Luke told the Chronicle regarding closures:

“All of us knew it was coming. Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters.”

Luke also suggested that the employees at Walgreens are helpless to do anything in the face of the thefts, saying:

“I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted.”

He continued:

“The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. 

“They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”

In fact, a shoplifting incident occurred right in front of San Francisco Chronicle writer Phil Matier, as he was working on a story about “rampant shoplifting” and Walgreens closures.

Matier reported:

“No sooner had the clerk spoken than a man wearing a virus mask walked in, emptied two shelves of snacks into a bag, then headed back for the door.

“As he walked past the checkout line, a customer called out, ‘Sure you don’t want a drink with that?’”

In order to address the ongoing problem of shoplifting at retail establishments like Walgreens, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí held a hearing Thursday, May 13, with retailers, police, District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and probation departments.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that retailers at the hearing pointed the finger at “professional thieves instead of opportunistic shoplifters who may be driven by poverty.”

A representative from CVS also termed San Francisco “a hub of organized retail crime.”

Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii, reported at the hearing that theft in San Francisco Walgreens locations is four times higher than in stores elsewhere in the country.  

In addition, Cunningham noted that the pharmacy chain spends 35 times more on security in San Francisco than in other locations.

Brendan Dugan, director of organized retail crime and corporate investigations for CVS Pharmacy, also attended the hearing.  He reported that 42% of CVS’s losses in the Bay Area are from 12 stores in San Francisco, yet those stores only represent 8% of the market share.

Dugan added that it was “professional crime” that accounted for 85% of CVS’s losses.  He called San Francisco “one of the ‘epicenters’ of organized retail crime,” reminding those present of a major retail theft ring bust in October of 2020, in which over $8 million of stolen merchandise was recovered.  

That merchandise came, in part, from Walgreens and CVS.

In another take at the hearing on the origin of the thefts, retail grocery chain Safeway placed blame for “dramatic increases” in shoplifting on the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014.  

California’s Prop. 47 amended the California penal code, Section 490.2, to lower penalties for certain thefts.  It now reads that theft of property valued at less than $950 is punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1000 or six months in jail.

The Washington Examiner reports that many California prosecutors also “have opted to free those charged with the offense under certain conditions rather than holding them in jail for the maximum sentence of six months.” 

In addition, as we reported last year, San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin has refused to prosecute “low level” crimes like shoplifting.

As a result, would-be shoplifters appear to face the prospect of minimal if any consequences — if they are caught at all.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in 2020, only about “31% of shoplifting incidents resulted in arrest,” a number that has decreased over the past two years.

Both CVS and Walgreens train their employees to “be engaged and visible to prevent theft, but not to confront thieves directly when it could turn violent.”

Some stores have hired loss-prevention personnel at significant expense, up to $1000 per day, but according to Dugan, security guards at CVS have been assaulted.

In addition, most shoplifters have fled the area before police have time to arrive, and according to Jay Cheng, public policy director for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, loss prevention personnel will not detain shoplifters for fear of liability.

Liability concerns do not even have to involve physical contact.  According to the Wall Street Journal, several retail establishments in California have been sued by people who were caught shoplifting and claimed they were racially profiled.

In addition to organized criminals, the homeless and the poor comprise another group that has been named as responsible for a lot of the frequent thefts from retail stores such as Walgreens.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Donahue has called the increasing shoplifting indicative of “a lot of the issues we’re facing as a city: homelessness, poverty, drug addiction.”

Donahue reported to The Davis Vanguard that some of the people struggling with these issues habitually take only what they need from stores, while others steal more items in hope that they can sell them and raise money for their families.

https://twitter.com/KeithChosen/status/1393213088682307592

The focus of shoplifting investigations, Deputy DA Donahue told The Davis Vanguard in March, will not be on them, but instead “only on stopping serious, repeat offenders, especially violent ones.”

The Davis Vanguard further reports that Donahue and his team have collaborated with a consulting firm to work through over 100 shoplifting incidents and identify and apprehend repeat shoplifters.

As of March, from those 100 plus incidents, four warrants had been issued and two serial shoplifters had been arrested.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First

 

 

 

Share:
Related Posts