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The city of Miami suspended its newly-elected police chief Art Acevedo after six months on the job and Mayor Francis Suarez revealed on "Varney & Co." why he had to go.
Suarez explained that the chief came "highly touted" as president of the Major Cities Chief Association, yet "clashes" between Acevedo and city officials, including "offensive" comments regarding the Cuban Mafia, caused Miami to pull the plug.
"Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out as many of us would have liked," he said. "There have been clashes between him and some of our elected officials… Our city manager made the decision to move on for the benefit of our residents and that’s the best decision."
MIAMI POLICE CHIEF FLASHED SAME ‘OK’ HAND GESTURE IN PAST PHOTO AS OFFICER HE SUSPENDED, UNION SAYS
The mayor noted that Acevedo apologized for the offensive comments, even though the incident was only one of several strikes for the chief.
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"It was that and a variety of other things," he said. "Some high-level clashes with our public officials that created an untenable situation that simply wasn’t sustainable."
City Commissioner Manolo Reyes told Fox News on Thursday that the chief accused officials of meddling in his efforts to implement progressive reforms and acting in ways similar to Cuba's communist regime. Acevedo specifically came under fire for suggesting the department was being run by the "Cuban Mafia."
"If he had said that referring to any ethnic group… people would have asked for his resignation," Reyes said. "The statement is quite, quite dangerous. It's incendiary."
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Acevedo was also slammed for suspending an officer for flashing an "OK" hand signal back in August, only for the chief to be pictured making the same gesture in June 2020. The gesture allegedly represents "White power."
A Miami police union shared the photo of Acevedo during a visit to Jack Yates High School in Houston last summer — the same high school George Floyd graduated from in 1993, and Acevedo visited for a memorial following Floyd’s death.
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Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
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