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Local leaders, Houston police union president criticize Chief Acevedo for lack of transparency

HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo spoke to a national television audience Thursday night about transparency during an NBC News special.

“Well we are completely committed to transparency," he said.

But just a few hours earlier, Houston Polie Officer’s Union President Joe Gamaldi had criticized Acevedo for his lack of transparency in a surprising statement.

“He blames the police unions for problems with transparency but yet we are the one saying please release the body camera footage of officer-involved shootings,” Gamaldi said.

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia also criticized Acevedo on Twitter just before the special aired for failing to release a long completed HPD internal review of its narcotics division. The audit was conducted after the botched raid at a home on Harding Street last year that left two dead.

State Representative Gene Wu along with other state representatives also called on Acevedo to release the completed audit in a letter sent back in early March.

“The audit and the failure to release a number of body cam videos, even months after fatal shootings is very concerning,” Wu said Friday.

Houston City Council member Edward Pollard is in agreement with those who signed the letter.

“I stand with the state legislators in advocating for transparency and releasing the audit,” Pollard said.

Pollard said he believes Acevedo has good intent but is in a tough spot at present.

Last week, in response to a question posed by KPRC 2, Acevedo said similar comments to those he said on national TV Thursday.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I believe in transparency,” Acevedo said last week.

The bottom line for Wu is simple.

“If the Chief is committed to transparency and he says it out loud then let’s do it,” Wu said.

Pollard feels Acevedo’s "actions need to match his words.”

The Houston Police Officer’s Union sent all city council members and Mayor Sylvester Turner a statement calling for transparency from Acevedo. Turner has yet to weigh in on the union’s email, according to his communications team.

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row, Acevedo did not respond to KPRC 2′s request for a direct response to the union’s statements regarding his claims of transparency.