The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
MIAMI, FL- We have to admit…we do get just a bit of pleasure out of reporting this story.
Miami police chief Art Acevedo, fresh from screwing up the Houston Police Department and now in South Florida was forced to issue an apology this past week for a statement he made to something in the area of 100 sworn staffers, whereby he said the city’s police department is run by the “Cuban Mafia,” The Miami Herald reported.
Acevedo apologized on Twitter where he has nearly 100,000 followers after getting roasted by the city’s police union as well as several commissioners. Acevedo made the “Mafia” comment, considered offensive to Cubans in the city, about a month or so ago during a morning roll call.
In the Twitter post, Acevedo apologized for using the ill-advised description of Cuban Americans and claimed he was trying to be “humorous.”
“I want to thank city of Miami commissioners for kindly informing me this morning that historically, the Castro regime referred to the exile community in Miami as the Cuban Mafia.”
Message from Chief Art Acevedo. pic.twitter.com/6mSzURqFX1
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) September 9, 2021
Prior to Acevedo writing his apology, the president of the City’s Fraternal Order of Police, who has already had a few run-ins with Acevedo in his short stint as Miami’s chief wrote a letter to union members in which he blasted Acevedo.
“We believe this is a derogatory way to speak about any group of people,” wrote FOP President Tommy Reyes to members last month.
“Several of the members who brought this to my attention are not even Cuban. There were members of all races and ethnicities that reached out to me. One member even asked me, ‘Imagine if he said Black Mafia instead of Cuban Mafia?’”
“Miami is run by the Cuban Mafia” says @ArtAcevedo @MiamiPD @MiamiMayor @Artnoriega5 @GlennaWPLG @nbc6 @WillardNBC6 @Telemundo51 @GLFOP @FOPFL #cubanmafia @JoeCarolloNow @Manolo4Miami @alexDLPmiami @kenforflorida @JWatsonMiami pic.twitter.com/aKls5otpfy
— Miami FOP 20 (@miamifop) September 7, 2021
The fact that Acevedo is Cuban American himself seems to show a severe lack of self-awareness.
The controversial Acevedo, who fancies himself something of a “reformer” in the police chief ranks but is more of a political hack claimed the comment was “meant to be humorous and lighten our discussion.”
However some didn’t see the humor in Acevedo’s comment, including Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, who called the statement “unbelievable,’ but held just short of calling for Acevedo’s ouster.
“He must be the only individual with a Cuban background in the world that didn’t know the Cuban dictatorship called us the Cuban Mafia,” Carollo said.
“They named him to be a professional police chief, not a comedian.”
For Carollo, he knows of what he speaks, having fled Cuba to Miami as a child in late 1961, part of a mass exodus of children who fled the island soon after communist madman Fidel Castro took over, an operation that was called Operation Pedro Pan.
Later on, members of his family were able to make their way to Miami to join him.
Acevedo came to the Miami PD promising change and quickly showed himself to be more of a bully upsetting the apple cart, terminating a married couple who were two of the department’s highest-ranking officers, the Herald said.
He also demoted several of his command staff, including a major who was one of the highest-ranking black females in the PD.
Miami’s political scene can be tricky to navigate which Acevedo is finding out.
The city still bears the scars of Castro’s takeover of Cuba some 70 years ago. The Herald notes that despite his Cuban background, Acevedo is still considered something of an outsider in the community to the point that when he joined the stage during solidarity marches in July with Cuban protesters, some looked down upon that move.
Acevedo claimed he didn’t know that Castro referred to the Miami exiled Cuban community as the “Cuban Mafia” where he referred to those who fled his dictatorship criminals.
So entrenched in Miami politics are Cubans that five commissioners in the city were either born in Cuba and had fled the island or had relatives who suffered oppression by the Castro regimes.
“Suffice it to say,” Acevedo said, “I would never have made the statement and I extend my apologies to our community. Despite 62 years of brutal rule, the Cuban spirit and sense of humor remains strongly intact and for that I remain thankful.”
Acevedo has had an eventful five months at the helm of the Miami PD. A couple of months ago, he threatened to terminate any officers in the department who refused to get vaccinated.
More recently, he was involved in a controversy where an officer was suspended and an internal investigation begun for allegedly making a “racist” hand sign (the OK sign) which is often attributed to the “Three Percenters,” identified as a white supremacist militia group.
However the Miami FOP discovered a photograph of Acevedo making the exact same sign at a Black Lives Matter event while he was chief of the Houston Police Department.
For more on that, we invite you to:
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.
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.”
“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.
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?
You really are dumb. My ex-fiance is from Houston. The three-finger symbol is the sign for Houston's Third Ward. Same as Beyonce does here. I realize you hate the police and Cuban-Americans but try to be less obvious. We appreciate @ArtAcevedo and all he's doing. pic.twitter.com/N6VGxpBNqB
— A.J. Delgado (@AJDelgado13) August 21, 2021
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 Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) May 3, 2021
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.”
— Miami FOP 20 (@miamifop) August 20, 2021
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.
Here is @CityofMiami Police Officer Daniel Ubeda, in full uniform with badge and gun wearing his Trump mask inside of the polling location in government center.
This is city funded voter intimidation.
Ubeda should be suspended immediately. pic.twitter.com/TbJxu6mcem
— Steve Simeonidis (@stevesimeonidis) October 20, 2020
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.
— T.F. (@Lakotasky) April 28, 2021
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.”
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For our previous story on the Miami police union’s introduction to Acevedo’s tyrannical ways, we invite you to:
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.
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