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'Public Service Is In My DNA': Ousted Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo On His Firing & COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo is speaking out about the controversy over COVID-19 vaccine mandates in police departments across the country and about his recent ousting.

During an interview on CNN Monday night in which he pleaded with officers to get vaccinated for COVID and also made a quick reference to his termination from the Miami PD.

"I put out a memo detailing some concerns in political leadership and consequently I ended up getting fired. But at the end of the day, you're put in these positions to make a difference. I'm going to recharge over the next few weeks and then I'm going to see what's the path forward. Public service is in my DNA and I'm hoping that the future will bring an opportunity to continue serving the American people and the good men and women in law enforcement," he said.

Acevedo has backed COVID-19 mandates, a stance that contributed to the Miami City Commission voting unanimously to remove him from his position last week. But that wasn't the only reason.

The commission sought to remove him after only six months as the city's top copy after he was criticized for offending fellow Cuban Americans and losing the trust of his officers. Acevedo's attorney argued that the city's politicians wanted him gone because he accused them of corruption.

It was a dramatic fall for Acevedo, who was the first Latino to lead the police department in Houston and was dubbed by Miami's mayor as the "Tom Brady or the Michael Jordan of police chiefs," when he was hired in April.

When asked why he felt it necessary to speak out about COVID-19 vaccines, Acevedo told CNN it's because he loves his workforce. He said the hardest thing to do is go to one of your officers' funerals.
"It's something that whether it's a gunshot or it's a virus, it is permanent and fatal," Acevedo said. "So, we have to love our brothers and sisters and sometimes we have to, you know, try to encourage them."
(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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