Today in Houston there is a Peace March planned in honor of George Floyd, a native Houstonian. Organizers hope it will be the largest such event for Floyd yet.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is no stranger to media attention. In fact, he seeks it out. He is prone to emotional, profanity-filled rants that the press laps up. We’ve written about Acevedo here on this site. When a bad drug bust went terribly wrong and a police officer was murdered, the police chief pointed a finger of blame at Republican lawmakers like Senators Cruz and Cornyn as well as Mitch McConnell. He’s a gun-grabbing authoritarian in the vein of Beto O’Rourke. He attends fundraisers for Joe Biden. You get the picture.
Sunday he spoke at a drive-in church service. According to a press report the police chief “ripped his protective mask off in apparent frustration over the death of George Floyd” and addressed the Saturday march in downtown Houston, followed by rioting and looting.
Speaking to churchgoers outside Living Word Fellowship Church, his eyes red and voice hoarse, Acevedo warned against those determined to ignite violence during downtown Houston demonstrations, where since Friday more than 400 people have been arrested. He blamed a handful of demonstrators for causing the bulk of property damage and unrest late at night.
“We will not let people come to our city and tear it up,” Acevedo shouted. “To the fools who think that our kindness is weakness: When you try to tear up our city, you’re not going to face the police, you’re going to have to face the people of Houston who will not let the memory of George Floyd be hijacked by anarchists that are doing Satan’s work.”
So, during a weekend protest, he stood among protesters and called for peace in the city but it evolved more into riling up the crowd if you ask me. Listen to his words: “How do you keep a knee on a man’s neck when he is calling out for his mama?” I am telling everyone in this g** d*** country if you don’t have a f****** problem with that you are the g** d*** problem,” Acevedo said in the video. “We will march as a department with everyone in this community…But I will not allow anyone to tear down this city.” (Warning: Language NSFW)
As I listened to his rant, I kept thinking that if that was President Trump melting down with emotion and tears, the press would have a field day with pointing and laughing at him. But, Houston is a Democrat-controlled city and it is a minority-majority city so this sort of made-for-the-camera moment is par for the course.
He, like many of us over the weekend noticed that skateboards are being weaponized by Antifa thugs as the riots occur. He wants “those white guys with the skateboards” to know he’s noticed. As he took a swipe at Trump by referencing some who call immigrants rapists, Acevedo is Cuban-American, he went after them without actually calling them out as Antifa, because that’s what Democrats do. Then their hair is on fire when Trump or other Republicans have the spine to say the word. To hear Acevedo speak, it is as though he wants to imply that white people are the only bad actors during the violence. “It’s those white guys…”
“We built this country and I’ve got news for them – we ain’t going nowhere.” “It’s those white guys with the skateboards that are starting all the shit.”
Chief Acevedo did an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. Amanpour tweeted out a clip that shows Acevedo calling out Trump for his responses to the violence and mayhem in cities, including the phone call the president had with governors Monday. Acevedo, true to form, says Trump should just keep his mouth shut. Amanpour got what she was after. NeverTrumpers and leftists opposed to the president responded with approval of Amanpour’s tone as you expect them to do, including Jen Rubin, the token “conservative” columnist at the Washington Post.
Houston Police Chief @ArtAcevedo: “Let me just say this to the President of the United States, on behalf of the police chiefs of this country: please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut.” pic.twitter.com/z5AJpOO0RO
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) June 1, 2020
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) June 1, 2020
Chief Acevedo specifically said he was speaking for police chiefs across the country. Who made him their spokesperson? This is the arrogance the chief brings to the job, an attribute Houstonians are very familiar with from him by now.
Acevedo says he will march during the organized event today. He has a history of being a participant in marches, too. He marched with the mayor and those from the Bloomberg-funded anti-gun group, Moms Demand Action in the past. Several buildings will close early downtown as the march is planned for 3:00 p.m. and goes from Discovery Green to City Hall. Acevedo again spoke about people with skateboards starting the violence but in this report, he left out the race of the skateboarders. Maybe he saved that to throw gas on the fire with Christiane Amanpour.
In downtown Houston, some businesses are boarding up and Houston police are promising all hands on deck.
“All it takes is one person with a skateboard to start destroying a police car or a window at a store and then young people, already on edge, join in,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.