Miami City Commission unanimously approves dismissal of Police Chief Acevedo

Acevedo, who attended the hearing, was suspended “with immediate effect” by City Manager Arthur Noriega on Monday until the commission made the decision to fire him.

The decision came at the end of a nearly five-hour hearing in which Noriega’s lawyer was called to testify against the chief, including Director of Human Resources Angela Roberts, Deputy Chief of Police Armando Aguilar, Noriega and Interim Police Chief Manny Morales.

Acevedo’s lawyer, John Byrne, said the trial had “already been decided in advance” and argued that “it was not a fair setting”. Byrne said the chief’s defense team did not call any witnesses because a motion to continue was denied until Monday to prepare for the trial.

Witnesses were questioned about eight issues outlined in an October 11 note Noriega sent to Acevedo, which caused the chief to lose “the trust and confidence of the grassroots” and was dismissed.

Acevedo was given the opportunity to defend himself before the commissioners at the trial, but he did not do so.

Noriega said this week that after three incidents that appeared to support Acevedo’s mission to support the Covid-19 vaccine mission for officers, Acevedo lost the trust of both officers and executive staff, received a vote of no confidence from the Police Brotherhood, and witnessed. On October 1, the vice president “verbally attacked and did not interfere with the management staff after the commission meeting”.

your chief The impeachment came just after city commissioners called for his dismissal at a controversial two-hour meeting to discuss his decisions and conduct, which was seen as controversial on September 27 and October 1.

On September 24, the chief wrote a bombshell note to Mayor Francis Suarez and Noriega, accusing three city officials of interfering with reform efforts and a secret internal investigation.

Miami's rockstar police chief suspended, likely to be fired after clashes with city leaders and cops

“Relationships between employer and employee come down to cohesion and leadership style, and unfortunately Chief Acevedo is not a good fit for this organization,” Noriega said in a statement. Said. “Now is the time to move forward with the search for new leadership in MPD.”

Attorney General Byrne stated at the hearing that Acevedo was suspended because of this note, saying, “He had the courage to do what most of us didn’t have the courage to do, which is to tell the truth to power.”

“From the evidence from the commissioners’ involvement here today, we have seen that Chief Acevedo has not been suspended,” Byrne said during his closing remarks, of the eight allegations made in Noriega’s memo. .

“It’s not right, it’s not fair, and I hope the commissioners can get together and do the right thing,” Byrne said. “People are watching, folks are watching, and we deserve better.”

Noriega’s attorney, Stephanie Marchman, said in closing remarks that Acevedo’s September 24 memo “was not the basis for the decision to fire the chief”.

“Once the city manager got the action plan he requested, at that point, he knew it was time to act because the chief didn’t understand or accept what the problems were,” Marchman said. Said. “How can the city manager help move forward with this department when he doesn’t actually realize or acknowledge that there are problems?”

Among the witnesses Noriega’s lawyer sought, Noriega said, Morales, who was appointed interim chief of the Miami Police Department, is seeking permanent relocation in the city.

After George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Acevedo emerged onto the national stage as a police leader who spoke out loud in the debate over police reform and public safety, demanding national standards for police use of force, and marching with protesters.

In an internal email received by CNN, Acevedo on Monday told officers to “be nice to one another” and recommended that they engage in “Relational Policing,” a term that emphasizes the importance of law enforcement’s relationship with community members.

“I wanted to thank you for your service, warmth and spirit,” Acevedo said in the email. I urge you all to drive forward and provide the best possible service to the people of Miami.”

Noriega had asked Acevedo to present a plan to change the problems in the police department.

On October 4, Acevedo drafted a 90-day plan of action to develop the ministry in several areas, including boosting officer morale, improving its relationship with elected officials, and a policing and management plan.

However, Noriega said the plan was “materially inadequate” in addressing officer morale and community relations and did not propose “an important plan to address either issue”.

During his testimony, Morales cited the results of a survey by the department’s Fraternal Order of Police, which found that 79% of the Miami police force had lost confidence in Acevedo as chief, pointing to “a systematic demoralization of the police department as a result of his leadership.” style or strategic tactics on personnel.”

During the cross-examination from Byrne, Morales added that he believes the chief’s support of the vaccine missions is “a reason for his firing” and that such a mission should not exist.

CNN reached out to Acevedo earlier, but was unable to hear back.

Police chiefs leave the department at a higher rate than in previous years

The impeachment and termination is a dramatic fall for Acevedo, who was the first Latino to lead the police department in Houston and was dubbed “the Tom Brady or Michael Jordan of police chiefs” when hired by the Miami mayor.

Acevedo began his law enforcement career as a field patrol officer in Los Angeles with the California Highway Patrol in 1986 and was appointed chief of the California Highway Patrol in 2005. biography on MPD’s website. He then served as chief of police in Austin, Texas for more than nine years.
In 2016, he took the reins as chief of police in Houston, where he served for more than four years. before resigning in March.

CNN’s Ryan Young, Amir Vera and Rebekah Riess contributed to this story.

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