HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo questioned President Donald Trump’s handling of unrest in America during an interview Monday on CNN.
While most protests over the death of Houston native George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police have been peaceful, some of them have escalated to riots and looting.
Calling himself a law-and-order president, Trump said Monday that he is an ally of peaceful protesters, but he said governors should deploy the National Guard “in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets." He went on to warn that, if they refused, he would deploy the United States military “and quickly solve the problem for them.”
Acevedo responded to Trump’s remarks in his typical passionate fashion during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“It’s not about dominating,” Acevedo said. “It’s about winning hearts and minds.”
Acevedo said he was speaking on behalf of police chiefs across the country when he denounced Trump’s call for domination.
“Please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut because you’re putting men and women in their early 20s at risk,” Acevedo said.
Acevedo, who has himself said that police in Houston will work with protesters to keep things peaceful, said people should not equate kindness with weakness.
“We need leadership now,” Acevedo said. “It’s time to be presidential … and not be like you’re on ‘The Apprentice. This is not Hollywood … This is real life and real lives are at risk, and I ask the American people to please join with the police. Stand together.”
Houston will be the site of what is expected to be a large-scale protest organized by Floyd’s family on Tuesday. Organizers have called for it to remain peaceful.