Media

Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo Is Now a CNN Pundit

Ex-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo has joined CNN as a law enforcement analyst.
Ex-Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo has joined CNN as a law enforcement analyst. Screenshot via CNN
Though Art Acevedo's six-month tenure as Miami Police Department (MPD) chief was the shortest in the department's history, it may well have been the most riveting. Residents couldn't look away during the hours-long special Miami City Commission meetings that featured clips of Acevedo slapping a dance partner's bottom with a parking ticket and of the chief's nether regions stuffed into skin-tight white pants.

The Dinner Key theater came to an end with Acevedo's abrupt firing in October.

But CNN returns this week with the sequel, having hired the ex-police chief as a law enforcement analyst.

"I've been really reflecting about how I can continue to lift my voice to be a voice of reason and a voice on how to move criminal justice and policing forward," Acevedo tells New Times in a phone conversation. "I look forward to a positive partnership with CNN in the upcoming weeks, months, and hopefully years."

Acevedo should feel comfortable in the spotlight; he's held high-profile gigs throughout his career in law enforcement, leading the California Highway Patrol, Austin Police Department, and Houston Police Department as chief before coming to Miami. The New York Times has called him a "celebrity police chief," and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at one time deemed him the "Tom Brady" and "Michael Jordan" of police chiefs.

On Tuesday night, Acevedo announced his new role in a tweet after having joined The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer for a segment on rising homicide rates across the U.S. on the nine-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. 

Blitzer asked Acevedo what he believes it will take to prevent gun violence in the nation's schools. "Both sides need to come to the middle on gun policy and on violent criminals and bail policy," Acevedo responded. "Or else we are not going to see this get better anytime soon."

Several journalists, including former Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, took to Twitter to blast Acevedo's CNN appearance. The recently minted Substack pundit cited the career cop's thorny tenure in Houston and mocking his "keen insights." Acevedo forged a national reputation as a progressive-leaning pro-reform police officer, despite being a registered Republican. He has been criticized for his handling of a 2019 no-knock Harding Street raid in Houston, past allegations of sex-related misconduct, and appearances on The Alex Jones Show.

"At the end of the day, with 35 years of service, you're always going to have critics," Acevedo says of the continued scrutiny. "And you can't focus on the critics."
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Alex DeLuca is a fellow at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca