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Miami city officials suspended police Chief Art Acevedo Monday with the intent to fire him after a contentious six months on the job in which the top cop clashed with city leaders.
In a statement, Miami City Manager Art Noriega said the relationship between the city and Acevedo had become “untenable and needed to be resolved promptly.”
“In particular, the relationship between the Chief and the Police Department he leads – as well as with the community – has deteriorated beyond repair,” Noriega said. “Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization.”
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks during a press conference at HPD headquarters on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Houston. Acevedo was suspended as Miami’s top cop Monday after only six months on the job.
(Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
He said Assistant Police Chief Manny Morales will take over as interim chief until a permanent replacement can be found.
Fox News has reached out to Acevedo, the police union, Miami city commissioners and Mayor Francis Suarez. Noriega’s decision came a week after received an action plan he asked the chief to prepare to address issues within the department.
In an email to the police department obtained by WPLG-TV, Acevedo said he promises to “continue to fight the good fight to rid MPD of the political interference from city hall that unfortunately continues to negatively impact this organization.”
The move came six months after Acevedo, 57, resigned as chief from the Houston Police Department to run Miami’s police agency. In his four years as Houston’s police chief, he gained a national reputation as a reformer by calling for national standards on police use of force and gun control as well as marching with protesters after the killing of George Floyd.
Suarez hailed Acevedo as the “Michael Jordan of police chiefs” when his hiring was announced.
In this Wednesday, July 14, 2021, file photo, Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, left, hugs a demonstrator, in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, as people rallied in support of antigovernment demonstrations in Cuba. City of Miami commissioners held a special meeting last month in which they attacked Acevedo less than six months into his post, and voted to further investigate him and his appointment. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
City commissioners held two meetings in recent weeks where they discussed Acevedo’s actions as chief and called for a probe into his hiring after he wrote a scathing eight-page memo to Noriega accusing some city leaders – Commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Diaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes – of interfering with police reform efforts and an internal investigation.
“If I or MPD give in to the improper actions described herein, as a Cuban Immigrant, I and my family might as well have remained in communist Cuba, because Miami and the MPD would be no better than the repressive regime and the police state we left behind,” Acevedo concluded his memo.
The chief also came under fire for saying, “It’s like the Cuban Mafia runs the Miami PD,” which angered the city’s Cuban exile community. Acevedo, who is Cuban and was raised in Los Angeles, later apologized for the remark, saying his intent was to “highlight the importance of diversity within our own ranks and to lighten our discussion,”
He also faced backlash after firing two high-ranking officers and demoting a Black female officer. In addition, Acevedo also pushed for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for officers.
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