The Colorful Past of Gun-Grabbing Police Chief Art Acevedo

FILE - In this July 25, 2017 file photo, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and other law enforcement take part in public safety event in Austin, Texas. Acevedo is known for his blunt speaking-style and his empathetic side, and both were on display Tuesday, Aug. 29, as he warned looters to stay away from his city and then choked back tears as he announced that one of his veteran officers had died in the floodwaters. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Streiff pointed out how Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo’s anti-gun rant got lots of coverage.

His name was new to most of you I’m sure, but until a couple years ago he was Austin Police Chief so his name wasn’t new to me. My liberal friends love him, but I knew there were some checkered things in his past so I did a little digging.



His parents left Cuba for California. He graduated from the Police Academy for the California Highway Patrol in 1986 and worked his way up the ranks to the top levels of the CHP.

In 2004 he angled to get the retiring Commissioner’s job. This irked the Commissioner, who led a retaliation against Acevedo. Acevedo took it to the State Personnel Board and ended up getting a settlement of nearly $1M from CHP in 2008. He had some other disputes with CHP leadership along the way, including how they were letting officers over 60 fatten their pensions.

It was around that same time that a cop Acevedo had an affair with claimed that he’d been keeping nude pictures of her and showing them to others. He claims this was part of the harassment, but it’s not clear to me whether the story was true or not. I get the feeling that the story was true and the leaking of it was the retaliation, but I don’t know for sure. He and she eventually settled her claim.


After all the brouhaha there, Acevedo decided to look for other opportunities. He became Austin’s Chief of Police in 2007. He was affable, energetic, and left people who can’t agree on much of anything agreeing that he was right for the job.


While in Austin he was highly visible and shook up the department. He tried to forge relationships between APD and the community, though of course that can be difficult when some factions have a victim mentality.

One of the biggest controversies during his Austin tenure was his dust-up with the police union and the City Manager over his comments after an officer-involved shooting. Acevedo condemned the cop, who was eventually fired, before the investigation was completed. He continued talking about it even after the City Manager told him to cool it.


After his long CHP career it’s obvious he decided not to settle down at one agency. Less than three years after taking the Austin job, he had his name in the hat for the same position in Dallas. Five years later it was San Antonio. He got a raise in each case I believe. In 2016 he moved to his current role in Houston.

His early tenure in Houston sounds much like his time in Austin: endless energy, shaking things up, and spending lots of time in the public eye. In addition to his recent anti-2A comments, he has been outspoken against the state’s moves against sanctuary cities.


More info

After he left Austin, a conservative watchdog group summed up things they didn’t like about him. Another person – I don’t know his associations – created a laundry list of questionable activities, including an alleged involvement with a prostitute that angered his wife. I don’t know whether that or some of the other claims are legit.

He is certainly a colorful character and just as certainly has liberal beliefs. He’s done good things as well as questionable things along the way. He’s not shy about publicity, and I imagine the liberal press will have him as one of their go-to guys now.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos