How Chauvin’s Conviction Impacts Police Nationwide

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Art Acevedo is chief of the Miami Police Department. And before that, he was chief in Houston and Austin, Texas. Welcome back to the program, Chief Acevedo. We spoke to you very early on in this crisis after George Floyd was murdered. And I want to ask you now, given the verdict, what is your reaction, as a police chief, to the fact that a police officer, former, was convicted on all three counts, two counts of murder and one of manslaughter?

ART ACEVEDO, MIAMI, FLORIDA, POLICE CHIEF: Well, I would say it’s a great relief. I have got a great sense of relief. So do my officers I have been talking to and most police chiefs and police executives across the country, as the system work the way it’s supposed to work. Accountability carried the day. And I think that we should all — as sad as it is, the death of George Floyd, a greater travesty would have been to not provide the family and the nation justice, because, without justice, you can’t have no healing. And I think this was a very important step in the right direction.

AMANPOUR: So, let’s expand on that, because, honestly, it’s quite something to hear a police chief say relief when a police officer has been convicted of murder. And it’s not usual, as you know, in — you say the system has worked. The system generally doesn’t work in the United States, as you know better than I do. Police are infinitesimally ever held accountable and ever convicted. So talk a little bit more about what all your chiefs and colleagues and officers in all the thousands of police departments around the United States will be taking from this for the future. ACEVEDO: Well, I think that police officers that may not have their heart in the right place, that this is an alarm for them, that will hopefully make them think twice about their conduct and make better decisions. But we don’t want to say our policing is broken. I think that especially Europeans don’t realize we’re the most — one of the most violent nations on Earth, more firearms, more murders, more people getting shot in our streets every day. And the majority are not by the police. But what we do have is instances when bad policing happens. It disproportionately impacts communities of color, and we have to acknowledge that fact, and then deal with taking steps to make that not be the reality that too many people face in this country.

About This Episode EXPAND

Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi reacts to yesterday’s verdict. Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo offers his opinion. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan talks future of country after Chauvin conviction. Political philosopher Danielle Allen relates ancient Greek ethics to modern day police reform.