Chief Condemns Union Pesident's Statement About 'Dirtbags' Who Try To Kill Cops

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that the police union president did not speak for the police department.

Houston, TX – The Houston police chief said he almost yanked the police union president off the podium at a press conference on Monday night when he blamed the shootings of four officers on “dirtbags” who want to kill cops.

“It was over the top,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “In one sense, I get it. But that was not the place. This was not the incident. This had nothing to do with any of the stuff he was talking about.”

Four Houston police officers were shot, and another seriously injured his knee, during a narcotics warrant service on Jan. 28.

The suspects, 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and his wife, 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas, were killed during a gun battle with police after they made entrance to the house.

At a press conference in front of Memorial Hermann Hospital after the shootings, the police chief invited Officer Joe Gamaldi, the police union president, to take the microphone with an introduction that implied Officer Gamaldi would be saying what he could not.

“In times like this, sometimes what we can’t do, the Houston police officers union do a phenomenal job of being partners with us, and I’d like to have him say a few comments on behalf of the police officers union,” Chief Acevedo said.

The union president began by thanking the community for its support, and recognizing the Houston Fire Department and the hospital personnel for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the wounded police officers.

But then Officer Gamaldi’s tone turned angry as he continued his remarks.

“But now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women in the Houston Police Department, and the other 800,000 police officers that are working these streets every single day, putting their lives on the line,” he began.

“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families,” Officer Gamaldi continued. “Enough is enough!”

“And if you’re the ones that are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know, we’ve all got your number now,” the union president warned. “We’re going to be keeping track of all y’all. And we’re going to make sure that we hold you accountable every time that you stir the pot on our police officers.”

“We’ve had enough, folks. We’re out there doing jobs every day, putting our lives on the line for our families. Enough is enough!” Officer Gamaldi reiterated.

But on Thursday, after complaints from Black Lives Matter activists that the union president’s remarks could widen the divide between police and the community, Chief Acevedo changed his tune and publicly criticized Officer Gamaldi’s message.

The chief told reporters that Houston used to average about 45 officer shootings per year and that number has been reduced to about 15, a sign that the department is doing well in “relational policing.”

He talked about the positive relationship the police department has with the activist community.

“This is the first time we’ve had this brouhaha – and quite frankly I think a big part of it is because Joe Gamaldi’s emotions got the best of him, and [he] started, just went off a little over the top – a lot over the top if you ask me,” Chief Acevedo said.

“Which brings me to this. Joe Gamaldi doesn’t run the Houston Police Department – I do. I’m the police chief and I’m responsible for everything that goes on in the department,” the chief said.

He went on to explain the difference between the police department and the Houston Police Officers Union, calling the union “labor” and reminding the community that he was the boss, not Gamaldi.

“I would urge people to do two things. Number one, we should not paint activists with broad brushes, and our department should not be painted with a broad brush because of one guy’s comments or whatever comments he’s made since. Because ultimately, that’s one person, one opinion,” Chief Acevedo told reporters.

He said he would be meeting with the activist community to further discuss the issue.

“There’s a difference between being an activist and being an anarchist… anarchists are those that would say ‘all cops need to die.’ Do you understand the difference?” the chief asked the assembled reporters.

The chief went on to say that Houston doesn’t have problems with their activist community like other cities do, even when there was an officer-involved shooting.

Chief Acevedo said he thought Officer Gamaldi would say things differently if he had it to do over again.

However, when asked by KTRK, Gamaldi didn't back down.

"I don't see how my comments could impact relationships with anyone because we are talking advocating for our death, using anti-police rhetoric," he told the station.

"I've certainly heard what the chief had to say, and he's certainly right. He is the chief of the Houston Police Department just like I'm the President of HPOU. There's nothing over the top about vocalizing what every single cop at the hospital was feeling, what every single officer in the department and country was feeling in that moment," he said.

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Inthegarge
Inthegarge

In the post, BLM declared that they are abolitionists, not reformists, and that they refuse to “work within the system that we are fighting.”

“We are ungovernable. We are not here to pacify white folks or consider their feelings in what we do,” the BLM post continued. “We are here to build Black community and fight for Black liberation.”

The group then denounced all law enforcement, and confirmed that they have no intention of working with the police.

motor5345
motor5345

Chief you need to find a new job because you certainly do not have the BALLS for the one you have now. There would be a vote of NO CONFIDENCE. What the PRESIDENT OF THE POLICE UNION STATED IS THE TRUTH!!!! It’s about time someone HAD THE BALLS to speak up because the leaders are not. You want to pasify everyone but the time has come and gone now is when you just have to say NO MORE.

Chief STAND UP for your officers. It’s an all out WAR on LAW ENFORCEMENT. Let’s stop the bullshit and face the REALITY.

Pack
Pack

Get rid of that political hack and get a chief that cares about his officers.

Dexter44
Dexter44

What I don't understand there was no mention of race.So why is BLM getting involved? What does it have to do with them? Besides it was 2 "white folks" that initiated the shooting.

flagwaver
flagwaver

That sniveling backpedaling Chief's words can get more officers killed.He needs to turn in his badge and get a job mopping the floors. A dirtbag is a dirtbag no matter what color he or she is. They were not "persons of interest" or "alleged" suspects. They were dirtbags who shot those cops. I have a granddaughter in law enforcement, she's on the street. I worry about dirtbags who could harm her or worse. God Bless all law enforcement and God bless Blue Lives Matter

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

This wasn't about activists. This was about police failing to announce themselves and failing to give the targets of a search warrant a fair chance to open the door and a fair chance to secure the watchdog before they started shooting into a residence.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Dirtbags can be of any race and persuasion. Why should the black activists want to claim the sole title of being a dirtbag?

Swjw121050
Swjw121050

What a worm the ‘chief’ is. Leave your officers flapping in the breeze while you kiss BLM’s collective butts.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The wide-ranging briefing also touched on a conversation Acevedo said he had with Tuttle's brother, who lives in Austin. Acevedo said he expressed condolences to Tuttle's family and asked Tuttle's brother to remember what he stands for -- seeking the truth.

Acevedo said the investigation is ongoing -- both criminally and internally. He said that body-worn camera footage has already started being reviewed.

Eddieg825
Eddieg825

Burgersalday...were you there? There is no such thing of no knock warrants. The law requires knock and announce which is what got the officers shot.

bjeanhill
bjeanhill

And herein lies the problem - Acevedo.

Guyguy
Guyguy

Seems to me the chief is out of touch with his police force. Politics or being political will do that to you.

LPD133
LPD133

Looks like Art needs to remember what it was like to work the street. He's not in much danger behind his big ole desk is he? Art, grow a pair.

61mouse
61mouse

Only other word would be THUGS

bronx163
bronx163

Hey Chief, you are either with the cops or you are another spineless politician wearing a shield and gunbelt. The Union president said it right. Those cops were shot by ditbags. Aka fucking shitbags. They fought the law and law won. Dont criticize cops union president for taking point and representing his cops the right way. Chief how can you look those cops who were shot and say you support them? You want political ambitions and be a lap dog for liberal mayor and suckass and appeaser for black lives matter? Then you need to resign and go FUCK YOUR SELF!!!

COPS IN THIS NATION ARE UNDER ATTACK. EITHER GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME OR SHUT THE FUCK UP.

BLUE LIVES MATTER!!!!!!!!!!! BLUE LIVES MATTER!!!!!!!!!!! BLUE LIVES MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!

bronx163
bronx163

To Eddieg825

Yes judge can sign no knock if there is reason that evidence will be destroyed and lives will be in jeopardy.

So shut up.

jakesj40
jakesj40

When are our leaders going to be able to come out and speak the truth about the racist BLM group?

robocop95
robocop95

Just another Chief caving to the vocal minority and pussing out.

Slothman
Slothman

No surprise that the Chief would backpedal the moment someone cried foul. These so called Administration leaders are spineless. The Union President was absolutely correct. Officers all over the country are completely fed up with the anti Police Bullshit by so called Activist. The same ones who want to blame police at every turn yet won't take one shred of responsibility for the actions of these "DIRTBAG THUGS". The chief and all other heads of Law Enforcement should finally grow a pair of balls and stand up for their officers all over or step aside.

Ltpar
Ltpar

Chief is the dirt bag and the Association needs to initiate a Vote of No Confidence" and send him packing. We do not need politically correct ass holes like Acevedo in law enforcement.

No. 26-50
RDD
RDD

Not only did this police Chief lost his mind.
He has lost his spine and his balls. Maybe he should change his gender to vagina?

alaskalawdog
alaskalawdog

Bullshit, Chief! This has every damn thing to do with this incident. Maybe you should get your ass back out on the streets, because it seems to me you’ve completely lost touch with the reality of your subordinates day to day experiences. Stop being a “yes man” and get back to being a fucking cop!

AdoreeD
AdoreeD

It’s like we’re living in the twilight zone! The pendulum has swung too far to the other side. There was absolutely nothing wrong with what the association president said! What IS wrong is what this Chief said! His words erase all the pain and suffering of any fallen or injured officer. Quite frankly this Chief ought to grow a spine! Shame on him!

Caddis
Caddis

So calling thugs shooting at cops "dirtbags" is insensitive and may hurt their feelings? Chiefs like this are part of the problem. The union rep. represents all sworn officers doing the dirty work, the chief represents his bosses, the mayor and city council. When's the last time he took a bullet? Vote of no confidence certainly should be considered.

cspcapt
cspcapt

don't count on this chief for support