Miami's New Police Chief Says He May Fire Ten or More Officers

Miami's new police chief, Art Acevedo, promises reforms to the police department.
Miami's new police chief, Art Acevedo, promises reforms to the police department. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty
The City of Miami's new police chief wants to fire problematic cops, and he wants to do it as soon as possible.

During an interview this afternoon on the South Florida Roundup show on Miami's public-radio station, WLRN-FM (91.3), Chief Art Acevedo said he's looking at firing ten or more officers who have histories of "uses of force that are not objectively reasonable." He did not provide a timeline for when that would happen, nor did he elaborate on the cases. But Acevedo said the officers "exceeded the authority granted to them by the law."

"I got briefed on these cases where clearly a handful of officers have no business wearing the uniform," he said.

During the interview, Acevedo said that it gave him "a little bit of heartburn" to learn that it's standard for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to lead the investigation when a police officer shoots a civilian. Those investigations, as well as the parallel investigations by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, can take a year or longer to be completed.

"If I had the opportunity to investigate it, I would," Acevedo said, adding that the investigations wouldn't take a year or longer if he assigned a team.

Roundup host Tom Hudson asked Acevedo whether he felt it was proper to have outside agencies investigate a police-involved shooting. Acevedo said yes, but that he would want the Miami Police Department to investigate alongside the other agencies.

"If [FDLE and the State Attorney's Office] do that investigation, it's important that it be timely," Acevedo said. "And what I've been told by a lot of folks is that everyone takes forever."

Acevedo said he plans to meet with the director of FDLE and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle about the delays in police investigations. 
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Alexi C. Cardona is a former staff writer at Miami New Times.