MIAMI – Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo took to Twitter Thursday to apologize for recently stating that “It’s like the Cuban Mafia runs Miami PD.”
According to a news release from the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, the comment was made on Aug. 4 during a roll call.
FOP President Tommy Reyes blasted the police chief for his comment, saying it was derogatory and people of all races and ethnicities reached out to him after the comment was made.
“One member even asked me, ‘Imagine if he said Black Mafia instead of Cuban Mafia,’” Reyes wrote in the news release.
But Acevedo, who is a Cuban-American from Los Angeles, claimed his comment was made in jest while he was discussing “the importance of diversity and history of discrimination and racism faced by Cuban exiles and other minorities.”
Acevedo said City of Miami commissioners have since educated him about how the “Castro regime referred to the exile community in Miami as ‘the Cuban Mafia.’”
“Having been raised in the Los Angeles area as a proud Cuban, I was not aware of this fact. Suffice it to say, I would have never made the statement and I extend my apologies to our community,” Acevedo wrote.
Reyes, however, said Acevedo’s comments didn’t stop at the “Cuban Mafia” comment, but said the police chief also spoke about an officer named Fidel who helped prepare the police chief for his Florida State Certification Exam.
According to Reyes, Acevedo said any Cuban parents who named their child Fidel after the 1960s had “issues.”
He also blasted the police chief for naming a former colleague from Houston as the deputy police chief, although he has vowed to get rid of the “friend and family plan.”
“This is very concerning as we have several assistant chiefs and other staff members who have worked through the ranks of the department and have proven worthy of the title,” Reyes wrote. “One assistant chief could have also held the historic title of first female Deputy Chief if that’s what Acevedo was going for. She has worked for the department for 27 years and was even a finalist for the position of Chief.”