City Commissioners are criticizing Miami’s top cop, dubbed the “Michael Jordan of Police Chiefs.”
Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose appointment was heralded as a major victory for the city by several authorities earlier this year, is again under fire from city commissioners.
When Acevedo was sworn in as police chief in April, Mayor Francis Suarez reportedly said, “We got the Michael Jordan of police chiefs.” Acevedo received national media attention and accolades for marching alongside protestors during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Houston in the summer of 2020, where he was police chief.
Acevedo has courted controversy in the months since assuming command of Miami’s police force, making a series of gaffes and difficult professional decisions that have earned him the ire of certain municipal officials.
City commissioners have scheduled a meeting on September 27 to interrogate Acevedo about his performance and maybe discuss his future employment status.
“I’ll be damned if I allow a new transplant come here and do anything he wants,” Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo remarked at a meeting Monday night, referring to Acevedo’s recent departure from Texas. “Every single one of us has been duly elected. And we’re all deeply rooted in this community.”
Acevedo’s most recent gaffe enraged municipal officials when he informed a group of about 100 cops during morning roll call that the Miami police department is governed by the “Cuban Mafia.”
Fidel Castro has previously used the phrase “Cuban Mafia” to portray Cuban exiles as criminals for attempting to flee or defying the government. According to the Miami Herald, the majority of Miami’s city commissioners either have family members who have suffered under Cuba’s communist rule or are Cuban exiles themselves.
Chief Art Acevedo’s message pic.twitter.com/6mSzURqFX1
— Miami Police Department (@MiamiPD) on September 9, 2021
Acevedo, a Cuban-American, apologized on Twitter for the remark, saying he had intended it to be comical and that he had no awareness of the term’s origin or meaning.
Carollo described the gaffe as “unbelievable” at the time, and said he was close to calling for the chief’s dismissal.
It’s important to note that municipal commissioners do not have the authority to terminate police officers. This is a condensed version of the information.