Former HPD Chief Art Acevedo facing heavy scrutiny in Miami over gaffes, top brass decisions, report says

Acevedo is just 5 months into his new job as Miami’s top cop

Former Houston police Chief Art Acevedo takes the oath of office to become the new Chief of Police in Miami, Florida, on April 5, 2021. (WTVJ via NBC News)

The Miami-Herald is reporting former Houston police chief and now-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo is facing scrutiny after a series of decisions involving top brass at the department and comments he’s made in his first five months at the helm of the department.

RELATED: Police Chief Art Acevedo leaving Houston to become Miami’s top cop

Read the full Miami-Herald report here.

When he was hired Acevedo had been hailed by the Miami mayor as the “Michael Jordan of police chiefs,” but that opinion has not been shared by some as Acevedo has settled in as top cop in the Florida city.

The Miami-Herald noted that chief’s latest gaffe relates to a comment he made during a morning roll call, telling a group of 100 about officers that department was run by the “Cuban Mafia.” Acevedo apologized for the comment and said he intended it as a joke, the Miami-Herald reported. The publication said Acevedo said he was unaware the term had been coined by Fidel Castro to paint Miami exiles as criminals for opposing his dictatorship. The majority of city commissioners in that city, the paper noted, “are either exiles or have families who have suffered during the six decades of oppression under the Communist regime.”

Additionally, the Miami-Herald reported that 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 posed for a selfie — unaware, he said — that it was with a leading member of South Florida’s white nationalist group the Proud Boys. He’s rankled members of the judiciary by repeatedly blasting them for early inmate releases from prison and jail.”

Acevedo faced raised eyebrows in Houston over a number of decisions, particularly concerning the Harding Street investigation, which ended in scandal. Twelve current or former Houston police officers were charged as part of the investigation that was launched after the botched raid in which Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle died in their home.

RELATED: Acevedo speaks publicly about new Harding Street charges for first time

Houston’s current police chief is Troy Finner, a native of Houston who grew up in the Fifth Ward. He has served with the Houston Police Department since 1990.

RELATED: Finner sworn in as Houston’s next police chief

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.