After Donald Trump threatened to call in the military if U.S. governors across the country don't toughen up amid ongoing protests stemming from the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is blasting the president, advising him to "keep your mouth shut" if he's got nothing "constructive to say."
In an interview with CNN, the 55-year-old police officer and chief of police at the Houston Police Department weighed in on the former reality star's recent comments, suggesting law enforcement "arrest" and "track" protesters, and "put them in jail for 10 years" as a way to "never see this stuff again."
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
"Let me just say this to the President of the United States on behalf of the police chiefs in this country, please, if you don't have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut," Acevedo said to anchor, Christiane Amanpour. Adding how the rhetoric and suggestions Trump is making are putting men and women in their early 20s at risk, Acevedo admits it's not about intimidation tactics, but rather compassion among Americans. "It's not about dominating; it's about winning hearts and minds. We don't want people to confuse kindness with weakness, but we don't want ignorance to ruin what we have here in Houston. It's time to be presidential, not like you're on The Apprentice. This is not Hollywood. This is real life, and real lives are at risk."
Since video first emerged of Floyd's death after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the back of his neck for more than eight minutes despite complaining he was unable to breathe, protests have erupted in nearly every city across the U.S., fighting back against police brutality, systemic racism and lingering white supremacy. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.
A memorial service will be held for Floyd on Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. local time, with Star Tribune reporter Heather Brown disclosing it will be held at North Central University. Rev. Al Sharpton will make the eulogy at the service. The service will be followed by another in Floyd's home state, North Carolina, on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The specifics surrounding a location for the service have not yet been announced.