Houston Police Chief to Donald Trump: 'Keep your mouth shut'

Christiane Amanpour interviews Art Acevedo on CNN. Source: CNN

A leaked call from US President Donald Trump’s situation room was uncovered by CNN. In the call, Trump told US governors to “dominate” protesters. Responding to the comments, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told Trump to keep quiet, and not put people’s lives at risk.

With the protests and riots in the US reaching fever pitch, US President Donald Trump’s leaked call to governors across America to “dominate” and “arrest and try people” -- has left Houston police chief Art Acevedo telling the president to “keep your mouth shut”. 

The leaked audio was uncovered by CNN where Trump said from the White House Situation Room to governors, "You have to dominate or you'll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people.”

"You don't have to be too careful," he said.

"It's a movement, if you don't put it down it will get worse and worse..The only time it's successful is when you're weak and most of you are weak."

Houston police chief Acevedo was asked to respond to the leaked call, by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who put the question to Acevedo whether it was the right environment for “police today to go out and dominate”. 

Acevedo told CNN, “Let me just say this to the President of the United States on behalf of the police chief's in this country, please, if you don't have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut because you're putting men and women in their early 20s at risk.”

“This is 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.”

He spoke about the need for leadership, criticising Trump’s message of dominance instead calling for communities to “stand together”. 

“We don't want ignorance to ruin what we've got here in Houston and speaking for my colleagues across the country where their officers are being injured, community members are being injured,” he said.

“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.”

Acevedo says it’s time to “shift this [action] to where it needs to be -- the voting booth.” He cites the reason for the protests was because too many people who are “damaging property never bothered to vote.”

In the 2016 US Presidential election, the black voter turnout fell for the first time in 20 years to 59.6 per cent -- despite recording an all time high of 66.6 per cent in the previous presidential election in 2012. 

However, prior to the election 14 states implemented new voting restrictions which included; restricting voter registration, strict voter ID requirements and limiting early voting. 

Federal judges found Republicans in the state of North Carolina suppressed black voter turnout with “surgical precision”. 

“Let's engage and let's do what we can control which is our own actions, our own hearts and exercise without failing our right to vote”

Avecodo has called on protesters, “You have a choice, lift up your voice, be heard in the voting booth and continue to march peacefully. So the focus remains on bad policing, criminal policing.”

He says the inequality in America is “not just about policing, it’s about society.” He references education, health, access to food -- and “everything that we as human beings, hold near and dear.”

“So please, please don't, don't react to [Trump].

Instead Avecodo says: “The only thing that will happen to overcome hate is love, and love and engagement. Let's engage and let's do what we can control, which is our own actions, our own hearts and exercise without failing our right to vote.”