Houston police chief responds to Trump advice on protests: 'Keep your mouth shut'

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE should remain silent on the protests over the killing of George Floyd if he has nothing “constructive to say.”

“On behalf of the police chiefs in this country, if you don’t have anything constructive to say, keep your mouth shut,” Acevedo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, in response to audio of the president demanding governors “dominate” protesters.

“Because you’re putting men and women in their early 20s at risk,” he added. “It’s not about dominating, it’s about winning hearts and minds. And let’s be clear, we do not want people to confuse kindness with weakness, but we do not want ignorance to ruin what we’ve got here in Houston.”

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Acevedo called remaining silent unless one has something constructive to add “the basic tenets of leadership, and we need leadership now more than ever. And it hurts me to know end because whether we vote for someone or we don’t vote for someone, it’s still our president, but it’s time to be presidential and not try to be like you’re on ‘The Apprentice.’”

“This is not Hollywood, this is real life, and real lives are at risk,” he added.

Protests have erupted in nearly every major U.S. city over the death of Floyd, an African American man, in police custody last week. A Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he was unable to breathe. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.

Acevedo has weighed in on national politics and criticized GOP leaders before, slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Ernst: Renaming Confederate bases is the 'right thing to do' despite 'heck' from GOP Advocacy groups pressure Senate to reconvene and boost election funding MORE (R-Ky.) and Texas Sens. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Texas lawmakers ask HHS to set up field hospital, federal resources in the state GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle MORE (R) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOh, Canada: Should the US emulate Canada's National Health Service? Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Trump says he'll sign order with 'road to citizenship' for DACA recipients MORE (R) in December for failure to take action on gun control or reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.