In response to a leaked call uncovered by CNN where US President Donald Trump told governors across America to "dominate" and "arrest and try people", Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked the president to "keep your mouth shut".
Sitting in the White House Situation Room, Trump told the 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, adding "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."
CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked Houston Police Chief Acevedo whether it was the right environment for "police today to go out and dominate".
Stressing the need for leadership, Acevedo criticised Trump's message of dominance, instead calling for communities to "stand together".
"Let me just say this to the President of the United States on behalf of the police chiefs 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," Acevedo told CNN.
"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 said.
"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 said.
The Houston police chief called on protesters saying, "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."
The inequality in America is "not just about policing, it's about society," he said, giving references to education, health, access to food -- and "everything that we as human beings, hold near and dear."