Miami Police Chief Warns Fed Action Needed To Curb Rising Crime City of Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo on March 15, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 30 May 2021 02:23 PM
Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo said Sunday the nation will see “a lot more bloodshed” unless federal action is taken to curb rising crime rates — including getting COVID-hobbled courtrooms up and running.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Acevedo — whose own city has been besieged with two back-to-back mass shootings on Friday and Saturday — said common sense has to “rule the day instead of the rhetoric and the out-of-touch left and right.”
“That's 30 shot, two dead in the greater Miami-Dade area” in a two-day period, he said. “And it is just an indication of the problem we have with the scourge of gun violence in this country. We need to do much more at a federal level to stop.”
“First and foremost, they need to come out of their own corners, the left and the right, and come to the middle,” he argued. “We need to have universal background checks. We need to make burglarizing these licensed gun stores a federal crime with mandatory sentencing.”
“Without legislation and certainty as it relates to holding these criminals accountable, we're never going to get through the summer without more death and destruction,” he added, noting, “Our criminal court system is absolutely at a stand still. They're not moving cases. Thousands of felons are running around and cases languishing three to five years before even going to court.”
“Unless we all start speaking up and speaking out and demanding our elected officials take action, we'll see a lot more bloodshed,” he declared.
Part of the problem lies in court systems that are operating at a snail’s pace, he said.
“It is time for the president and governors to get our court systems up and running. …It starts with the federal commission, getting our criminal justice system back on line, and having real consequences for these felons that are carrying these firearms that are not afraid of death, but they're afraid of state prison. And we need to deliver some safety to the American people,” he declared.
Acevedo said there were “multiple reasons” for the alarming rise in crime rates this year.
“We have been dealing with COVID” that has resulted in “our American court system … pretty much shut down,” he said. “There haven't been jury trials in large numbers in a long time across our country.”
And, he added, “we entered an era where politicians have forgotten how violent our cities used to be. … we're not holding people pre-trial… We have not been taking these criminals to court, putting them to trials, when it is taking three to five years to put people to a trial, and they're running free.”