HPD Chief Art Acevedo calls 2020 a ‘perfect storm’ as he reports rise of homicides in city

HOUSTON – Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo held a press conference Friday to discuss the increase in year-to-date homicide numbers in the city.

Acevedo said it has been a “perfect storm” this year with COVID-19 and its fatigue, as well as staffing challenges, among a number of other factors.

“We’re trying to focus on violent crime and it’s a balance,” Acevedo said, referring to issues with policing COVID-19 rules in area bars. “When you have a department that basically has the same number of officers that it had 20 years ago, with a significant decrease in overtime and with a significant approach to criminal justice by the rest of the criminal justice system...where you would tell me violent criminals would be getting out on personal bond and...murderers are getting in one door and out the other, I would have said you’re crazy, there’s no way, not in this country, but that’s what’s happened not just here but across the country, so it’s a perfect storm. ... There’s a lot of fatigue as it relates to COVID, and the last thing we want to do is create more dissention and distrust and lack of cooperation from the community if we become more focused on the masks than focusing on people who are shot in this city or robbed or being victimized by violent criminals.”

This is a developing report. KPRC 2 shared a livestream of the event in the video player at the top of this article. Video of the full press conference will be published below.

About the Author: