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Miami decides to fire Police Chief Art Acevedo and end a short but tumultuous tenure

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City Manager Art Noriega moved to fire embattled Police Chief Art Acevedo Monday night, ending weeks of speculation following two circus-like public hearings where city commissioners slammed the chief for everything from a tone-deaf statement about “Cuban Mafia” running the department to a tight jumpsuit he wore years ago during a fundraiser in another city.

Technically, the manager suspended Acevedo pending termination — forcing an almost-sure-to-lose hearing before a five-member commission with three vocal critics who appear likely to support his ouster after his tumultuous six months in charge.

The suspension came three weeks after Acevedo inflamed a trio of the Cuban-American commissioner by accusing them of interfering with police investigations and comparing their actions to Communist Cuba. His short tenure has been filled with controversial decisions and gaffes like posing for a picture with one of the South Florida leaders of the white nationalist group the Proud Boys.

Noriega released a statement early Monday evening saying the situation between Acevedo, 57, and the city had become “untenable.”

“In particular, the relationship between the chief and the police department he leads — as well as with the community — has deteriorated beyond repair,” wrote Noriega. “Relationships between employers and employees come down to fit and leadership style and unfortunately, Chief Acevedo is not the right fit for this organization.”

Just a few moments before Noriega released his statement, Acevedo sent a message to senior staff and the city’s 1,300 sworn officers saying it had been a “privilege serving with you and fighting for you” — but without saying exactly whether he would tender his resignation before a commission vote on his future.

“I promise to continue the good fight to rid MPD [Miami Police Department] of political interference from City Hall that unfortunately continues to negatively impact this organization,” Acevedo told his staff.

Though several city commissioners spent weeks bashing Acevedo over firings, hirings and demotions within the department, only Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla called for the chief’s firing before Monday.

“The natural outcome of an arrogant and dishonest police chief was that he would be dismissed,” said the commissioner. “His bad actions speak for themselves. Our city, our police officers and our residents will be better off as a result.”

If Acevedo leaves soon, it will be the shortest term of a police chief in Miami in recent memory — a shocking end for a highly touted national figure who came from a much larger department in Houston. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez had described him as the “Michael Jordan” or “Tom Brady” of police chiefs when he was introduced.

In just six months, Acevedo angered city leaders with a string of decisions and comments. Noriega, Acevedo’s boss and who was ultimately responsible for his hire, was left with little choice but to force the chief out.

Since early April Acevedo has taken control of internal affairs, publicly disparaged the legal community for early prisoner releases and short sentences and fired the highest ranking police couple in the department for not properly reporting an accident in which two tires were blown out of a city-issued vehicle. He also demoted four majors, including the second-highest ranking Black female officer in the department.

Acevedo also “accidentally” posed for a picture with one of the local leaders of the white national movement Proud Boys.

But the end of his term began to crystallize when he referred to the people running the Miami Police Department as the “Cuban Mafia,” a term used by Fidel Castro as he tried to paint Miami Cuban exiles as criminals for opposing his dictatorship. Born in Havana and raised in Los Angeles, Acevedo claimed ignorance and apologized.

His relationship with the city’s five commissioners — who direct Noriega — only worsened. Three weeks ago he penned a memo to Noriega and Mayor Francis Suarez accusing Commissioners Joe Carollo, Diaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes of interfering with police investigations. The chief also said he had informed federal investigators and compared the trio’s actions to Communist Cuba.

Like Acevedo, two of the city’s three Cuban-American commissioners fled Cuba as children and the families of all three have suffered since Castro’s takeover 60 years ago. Infuriated, commissioners called for a pair of public hearings in which they excoriated the chief without rebuttal.

For more than 20 hours over two days they lit into decisions and miscues made by Acevedo that they didn’t agree with. They also brought up problems the chief encountered during stays with the California Highway Patrol and as police chief in Austin and Houston in Texas.

Carollo, who led the charge, created a spectacle by questioning the chief’s choice of clothing, particularly when he was videotaped at a fundraiser in Austin wearing a tight one-piece jumpsuit while imitating Elvis Presley. Carollo ordered the video stopped when the outline of the chief’s crotch was clearly visible and asked the clearly uncomfortable city manager if that’s what he expected of his police chief.

And even in the few days that separated the two commission hearings on the chief, Acevedo created more ill will. During a 75-minute fiery and private grievance-filled speech to staff, the chief said he had enough probable cause to arrest people obstructing police probes, without naming commissioners.

But they took notice, as did Noriega, who during the second and final hearing on a Friday told commissioners they needn’t worry about being arrested.

According to several sources, the chief called Miami a corrupt city during that meeting and said he could cure it if he were permitted to bring in the right people. He also complained that several senior level positions were being eliminated by commissioners to stop his plan. The usually boisterous staff was stone silent after the chief’s outburst.

Enraged, Noriega fired off a memo ordering Acevedo for a review of his department and saying the chief lacked “certain sensitivity training and cultural awareness with regard to this community and its residents.”

On Monday, despite ripping Acevedo for hours during hearings two weeks ago, Carollo said he was surprised Noriega made a decision so quickly. The commissioner also wouldn’t commit to voting to end Acevedo’s stay in Miami.

“I’m going to keep an open mind as best as I can to listen to whatever defense he wants to provide on the manager’s reasoning for his firing,” said Carollo. “ And then I will speak and make my determination at that time.”

Commissioners Ken Russell and Jeffrey Watson could not be immediately reached for comment Monday night.

Suarez, who championed his hire in March, has repeatedly declined to say where he stands on the chief. The mayor did not immediately respond to the Herald on Monday.

Reyes said he was expecting Noriega to take some sort of action, but like Carollo, did not say how he’d vote on Acevedo’s fate.

“I want to hear what he has to say,” Reyes said. “This is going to be just like a trial, and we have to respect the principle of a trial.”



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Every Day, Biden Smells Like More of a Loser

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Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty

With a hint of confusion in his eyes and a whiff of failure in the air around him, Joe Biden is watching his approval ratings continue to plummet to the point where just 42 percent of Americans approve of his job performance.

Which makes sense, since at least so far Biden really doesn’t seem very good at this whole being president thing despite dreaming of and preparing for it for decades. With his staff trying to hide him from the press, and his penchant for saying confusing things, Biden isn’t rhetorically equipped to talk himself out of this mess. He was elected on a simple mandate to not be Trump, but after promising not to do Trump things, doing his own thing has proven more difficult.

To some degree, he put himself in this corner. By governing as he campaigned (as a competent centrist), Biden might have locked in a governing majority of alienated center-right Americans along with his extant Democratic coalition. However, Biden chose to abandon efforts to transcend the current political paradigm, choosing instead to appease his base. Talk about a tragic plot twist.

His deference to progressives was foreshadowed early on: first when he flip-flopped on taxpayer funding of abortion during the campaign, and then with the partisan passage of his COVID-relief bill in February. But real trouble arrived this summer, when he prematurely declared “independence” from the virus (followed by mixed messaging over boosters), and his Afghanistan withdrawal went dangerously sideways. Then it became clear that allowing progressives to hold his bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage would result in more than just a temporary delay.

One could argue that Biden’s decision to pander to the leftward flank of the Democratic Party caused or exacerbated the various crises he now confronts—ranging from the border crisis (his “compassionate” policies and rhetoric served as a magnet) to violent crime (it’s hard to blame Biden for this, though his party’s “defund the police” rhetoric didn’t help) to inflation, which is now tied with COVID as Americans’ biggest concern (Biden ignored Larry Summers’ warnings about overheating the economy). The current stalemate over his legislative agenda is the clearest example of this deference to progressives. And since his stalled legislative agenda feels especially like a self-inflicted wound, it’s worth spending a little additional time here.

This One Basic Mistake Is Blowing Up Biden’s Presidency

Had Biden aggressively moved to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, he would likely have garnered dozens of Republican votes, and progressives would have likely either caved to his will or been shown to be impotent. This is my counterfactual analysis, at least.

Instead, though, Biden let progressives press him into (sort of) linking passage of the bipartisan bill with a $3.5 trillion social welfare reconciliation package. By trying to have it all, there’s now a chance that he could get neither.

Why would an experienced former senator and vice president—who spent his career working across the aisle—make this mistake? Here’s one hypothesis: Ideas have consequences. And the assertion has taken root that Americans are so polarized and ideologically sorted that persuasion is a fool’s errand.

Since Bill Clinton, every U.S. president has essentially bought into this premise, despite all of them except Trump having explicitly campaigned as game-changing uniters. Bush and Obama won re-election with this formula, which probably explains why it isn’t easily abandoned, even as the trajectory of America this time at least feels like it has been headed downard. Biden had a fresh opportunity to break the cycle, but he has instead followed the path of his predecessors.

That aside, his even more fundamental problem is a lack of competence. We saw this in Afghanistan, where the dubious decision to withdraw all U.S. troops was compounded by the hamfisted manner in which the withdrawal was executed. And this same lack of competence is evident when it comes to Biden’s stalled legislative agenda.

If Biden was going to make the foolish decision to link the bipartisan infrastructure bill with the reconciliation bill, he could have first made sure he had all 50 Democratic Senators on board.

It’s no surprise that Manchin, who hails from West Virginia, would pose a roadblock when it comes to passing the Democrats’ “green” agenda items, so discussions with him should have begun on day one. Instead, Biden and the Democrats tried to jam their own framework through—and retroactively sell it to him.

Of course, it’s even more complicated, since Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema is the other holdout. Unlike previous examples where duos like recalcitrant Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine could be won over simultaneously, Manchin’s problems with the bill (mainly climate related) are entirely different from Sinema’s (generally having to do with taxes). And don’t forget the fact that appeasing them too much could alienate other, more progressive, Democratic votes. This is just one big mess.

And the problem for Biden (and America) is that the problems keep piling up. China is menacing Taiwan and testing hypersonic weapons (Biden says we will defend Taiwan if they are attacked). Gas prices are up, with Biden admitting they’re not coming down any time soon. And then there is the ongoing supply chain crisis.

Biden’s problems are piling up so fast that it reminds me of lyrics from Hank Williams, Jr., “The interest is up and the stock market’s down. And you only get mugged if you go downtown.”

Those lyrics, recorded in 1981, reflected those dark times. It’s worth noting that Ronald Reagan went on to win 49 states, three years later.

Joe Biden better hope for a similar turnaround.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Jake Tapper Says Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Has ‘Issues’ After Her Rant On Bannon Vote

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CNN’s Jake Tapper came down hard on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Friday, declaring she has “real issues” and is “not tethered to reality.”

He was referring to Greene’s outburst Thursday when, as described by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), she “started screaming” at Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

The House was voting to support the criminal contempt resolution against Donald Trump’s former White House strategist Steve Bannon after Bannon ignored a subpoena to testify before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Greene blasted fellow lawmakers for not punishing Black Lives Matter protesters and singled out Cheney by calling her a “joke.” Cheney, in turn, said Greene was a “joke” who has pushed the wild claim that Jewish-funded “space lasers” were responsible for wildfires.

“Congressman Raskin and Congresswoman Cheney are talking on the floor and, according to my sources …. Congresswoman Greene goes over to them and she starts screaming at them,” Tapper said to his CNN co-hosts.

“Look, I’m not a licensed psychologist, I don’t know her, but her behavior suggests somebody that has real issues, that is not tethered to reality or basic standards of decent behavior,” Tapper said.

He also referred to Greene’s conspiracy theory that “wealthy Jewish Americans were using laser technology to cause fires in California for some financial incentive.”

“I mean, it is a deranged anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and yet that is somebody with whom many Republicans are siding,” Tapper added.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene and Liz Cheney really represent the two doors for the Republican Party right now. Which one does the Republican Party want to emulate?” he asked.

Greene is known for her outbursts. Last month, she yelled at a group of Democrats as they held a press conference on the steps of the Capitol about legislation to guarantee the right to an abortion. Greene loudly interjected that “unborn women” have a “right to life.”

Greene has repeatedly shouted at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez said Greene needed “help” from a “proper professional.

Check out Tapper’s remarks in the video clip up top. His comments about Greene begin at about 0:36.

Also on HuffPost

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.





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Biden proves himself unaware of basic economics during Baltimore town hall: 'The Five'

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Biden proves himself unaware of basic economics during Baltimore town hall: 'The Five'



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Family’s new dog attacks and kills 7-year-old boy, Oklahoma cops say. ‘Gut-wrenching’

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A 7-year-old boy was killed Wednesday when his family’s new pet dog attacked him, Oklahoma officials say.

Deputies in Creek County were dispatched around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday for reports of a missing child, the sheriff’s office said. Fifteen minutes later and not long after deputies arrived on the scene, a family member found the body of the boy, according to the sheriff.

The boy was identified by KOCO as James McNeelis, who was playing outside with the dog before it attacked him. Family members told KJRH the dog was a sheltie-corgi mix and they only had it for three weeks after rescuing it as a stray.

Shannon Edison, a neighbor of the family, described the incident as “gut-wrenching” in an interview with KOTV.

“We knew something was wrong. As a mother, you know that scream, if anybody has ever heard that scream, you know that scream,” Edison said. “Something was catastrophically wrong.”

The sheriff’s office said an animal control facility has possession of the dog.

Family dog attacks and kills 6-month-old in Tennessee, officials say

Dog with jaws locked on smaller dog’s throat shot by officer, Colorado police say

Young child dashes for help as 120-pound dog kills mom in home, Oregon officials say



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Joey Logano not sure fighting is "ever the right way"

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Joey Logano not sure fighting is "ever the right way"



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Matt Gaetz Gives Himself, Boebert And Taylor Greene A Nickname And It Doesn’t Go Well

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Matt Gaetz Gives Himself, Boebert And Taylor Greene A Nickname And It Doesn’t Go Well



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Ashanti’s Seductive Bikini Video Ignites a Social Media Commotion, Fans Bring Up Singer’s Ex Nelly

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Ashanti‘s month-long birthday celebration known as “Shantober” appeared to be in full effect on Oct. 21 after she uploaded a sultry bikini video.

The singer, who turned 41 last week, is currently in the Bahamas with friends as she commemorates her birthday.

Ashanti’s new bikini video from her Bahamas vacation. (Photo: @ashanti/Instagram)

In the short clip first posted by her stylist Tim B, Ashanti was seen enjoying the festivities as she danced on what appears to be a boat in a beaded turquoise bikini complemented with a tiara and two ribbons pinned to her swimsuit straps.

When “The Shade Room” posted Ashanti’s bikini video on the site’s Instagram page, many flooded the comment section with remarks about her ex Nelly. A few even brought up the infamous hug that occurred between the two last month.

“Y’all better stop before Nelly come thru the phone screen to ask for a Hug.”

“Nelly bout to walk across the Atlantic to get a hug.”

“No wonder Nelly went for that hug trying to rekindle a flame that’s been blazing by itself.”

“Nelly somewhere snatching that band-aid off.”

“Nelly somewhere figuring it out.”

Ashanti commented on her viral bikini video that was posted on “The Shade Room.” Photo:theshaderoom/Instagram

Ashanti commented on her viral bikini video that was posted on “The Shade Room.” Photo:theshaderoom/Instagram

In addition to the Nelly statements, Ashanti commented that the video was all in good fun by saying, “My birthday month!!”

Last week on Oct. 13, Ashanti celebrated her actual birthday by going to dinner with family and friends in New York. The singer also took Instagram to explain how priceless it is to celebrate life with those you love.

She said, “Super overwhelmed with the birthday wishes. I’m grateful to God that I wake up to so much love…and so many blessings. Incredibly grateful for another year. One thing we’ve all seen is that tomorrow isn’t promised… Being surrounded by friends and family, celebrating life is priceless. Thank you to each and everyone of you for all the love!!! I genuinely appreciate it from my heart 10/13.”





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