Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose hiring earlier this year was touted as a big win for the city by some officials, is now facing unfavorable scrutiny from city commissioners.
Back in April, when Acevedo was sworn in, Mayor Francis Suarez famously said, "We got the Michael Jordan of police chiefs." This was following Acevedo's flood of national media attention and praise for marching along with protestors at Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Houston, where he was police chief in the summer of 2020.
In the months since he has been in charge of Miami's police force, Acevedo has courted controversy, committing a series of blunders and contentious professional decisions that earned him negative attention from some members of the city government, Newsweek reports.
Now, city commissioners have called a meeting for September 27 to question Acevedo about his performance and potentially debate his future status on the job.
Acevedo's most recent gaff angered city officials when he told a group of roughly 100 police officers during morning roll call that it's like the Miami police department was run by the "Cuban Mafia."
Acevedo, a Cuban-American himself, who denied he had any knowledge about the origin or meaning of the term, which was used by Fidel Castro to paint Cuban exiles as criminals, the Miami Herald reports.
The Herald reports that Acevedo's brief tenure has been steeped in controversy.
Acevedo fired the highest-ranking police couple in the department for not properly reporting a patrol vehicle accident. He relieved a popular sergeant-at-arms from duty and demoted four majors, including one of the city’s highest-ranking black female officers, without explanation. He also reportedly unwittingly posed with a Proud Boys leader for a selfie.
Acevedo’s most recent flap involves his personal unmarked SUV, a black Chevy Tahoe. Two weeks ago, someone noticed scuff marks and a slight separation of the vehicle’s fender on the front, right passenger side and last week outside City Hall, Reyes took photos.
Fraternal Order of Police President Tommy Reyes called out the “hypocrisy” of the chief not filing a report after his firing of Deputy Chief Ron Papier and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Papier, this summer. Acevedo determined the two had not followed the proper chain of command or filed proper reports after Nerly Papier blew out two tires in her patrol vehicle after hitting a curb.