Miami city officials suspended police chief Art Acevedo on Monday and clashed with top police city leaders for the purpose of sacking him after six months at work.
In a statement, Miami City Manager Art Norriga said the relationship between the city and Acevedo was “unsustainable and needs to be resolved immediately.”
“In particular, the relationship between the chiefs and the police department they lead – as well as with the community – has been irreparably deteriorated,” Norriga said. “Relationships between employers and employees fit and fall into the leadership style and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not suitable for this organization.”
Assistant police chief Manny Morales will take over as interim chief until a permanent replacement is found, he said.
LBL reached out to Acevedo, the police union, Miami city commissioners and Mayor Francis Suarez. Noriga’s decision came a week after he received the action plan, which he asked the chief to prepare to address issues within the department.
In an email to the police department obtained from him WPLG-TVAcevedo promised to “continue the good fight to free the MPD from political interference from the city hall, which unfortunately has a negative impact on the organization.”
The move came six months after Acevedo, 57, resigned as head of the Houston Police Department to run a police agency in Miami. During his four years as Houston’s police chief, he gained national fame after the assassination of George Floyd by calling for national standards in marching with police force and gun control and protesters.
Suarez hailed Acevedo as “Michael Jordan, chief of police.”
City commissioners held two meetings in recent meetings where they discussed Acevedo’s actions as chief and called for an investigation into his appointment after writing an eight-page memo to Noriega accusing some city leaders – commissioners Joe Carrello, Alex Diaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes – of police reform Interfering with efforts and internal investigation.
“If I or the MPD agreed to the improper actions described here as a Cuban immigrant, I and my family would have remained in communist Cuba, because Miami and the MPD left no better than the repressive regime and police state,” Acevedo concluded.
The chief was also criticized for saying, “The Cuban Mafia is running the Miami PD,” which provoked the city’s Cuban exile community. Growing up in Cuban and Los Angeles, Acevedo later apologized for the statement, saying it “highlights the importance of diversity within our ranks and lightens our discussion.”
He faced a backlash after the dismissal of two top-ranking officers and the dismissal of a black female officer. In addition, Acevedo also urged authorities to order the Kovid-19 vaccine.