David Aceveda

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David Aceveda
The Shield character
David Aceveda.jpg
First appearance "Pilot" (episode 1.01)
Last appearance "Family Meeting" (episode 7.13)
Created by Shawn Ryan
Portrayed by Benito Martinez
Occupation Mayor of Los Angeles; reserve LAPD police officer
Title Police Committee Chairman
Spouse(s) Aurora Aceveda (wife)
Children Sofia Aceveda (daughter)

David Segovia Aceveda, played by Benito Martinez, is a character on FX's television crime drama The Shield.[1]

Originally, he was the captain of "the Barn", a fictional LAPD precinct in the also-fictional Farmington district of Los Angeles, California. However, in Season Three, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and effectively relinquished command in the first episode of Season 4. Though he is no longer captain, his responsibilities as the city council representative of the Farmington District often keep him in the forefront of the show. According to show creator Shawn Ryan's commentary on the Season 1 DVD, the Aceveda character is heavily influenced by former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.


Aceveda is a born politician—extremely intelligent and ambitious. The main reason for taking the captaincy in Farmington was to raise his profile in the community to enable him to run for a seat on city council and eventually, mayor. He is thus a prisoner to his ambition and often will place his morals aside to protect it. During his tenure at the "Barn", he often would turn a blind eye to some of the corruption that occurred, as long as it brought results that would elevate his stature.[2]

Early career[edit]

David Aceveda grew up in Los Angeles, graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in law. Though little of Aceveda's early police career is known, he began as a uniformed officer and quickly made his way up rankings, aided by both affirmative action and his own talent. Aceveda was awarded the position of Captain of the Farmington District upon its inception.


Aceveda arrived in Farmington with high aspirations and was already aware of Vic Mackey's heavy-handed tactics. He initially didn't want him on the Strike Team, but Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy pushed Vic's position through. Though Aceveda tried to take down Vic and his often corrupt Strike Team, the attempt would result in the death of Detective Terry Crowley. As the cause became more and more difficult, Aceveda attempted to focus more on controlling the problems within the district. While captain, Aceveda showed signs of racial prioritizing, getting more involved in cases that involved Latino victims than cases where the victims were of a different race.

Farmington's crime rate began to fall as the Strike Team, along with other detectives from the Barn made progress. As a result, Aceveda began to gain more accolades and praise from the city and community leaders alike. As Aceveda's status became more prominent, he announced that he would be running for Farmington's city council seat. Though Aceveda struggled early on, he would go on to win his primary, and eventually, the election.

City council[edit]

Upon his election to city council, Aceveda resigned from the police department, but remained a reserve officer. He volunteered for service once so far, while assisting on the search for missing officers Carl Miller and Scooby Haimes. However, it seemed that Aceveda still desired to control events at the Barn, as seen by his clashes with his replacement, Captain Monica Rawling.

Aceveda was briefly under investigation for bribery and corruption charges headed by IAD, but the investigation was shelved by Jon Kavanaugh in exchange for his cooperation into the activities of Vic Mackey. Aceveda supplied Vic with false information leaks in order to assist Kavanaugh with his organization. One of these leaks, the false information that Lem had worked out a deal with IAD in exchange for testimony against the Strike Team, inadvertently lead to Lem's death at the hands of Shane Vendrell. As a result, Aceveda is indirectly responsible for his death.

In the aftermath of Lemansky's death, Aceveda made a statement to the media about Lem's heroin theft. Upon learning that Lem had not worked out a deal with the IAD, Vic angrily confronted Aceveda before a press conference, blaming Aceveda for causing Lem to run. Aceveda countered by accusing Vic of not taking responsibility for his actions, but when he saw Vic was angering to the point of physical violence against him, he wisely decided to back off. Later on that evening, Aceveda announced, in a city wide press conference, that the city will be conducting an investigation into the police department in an attempt to rid itself of corrupt officers. He also stated that Lem's death, while regrettable, was a result of his corrupt actions, renewing Vic's anger.

As the events of the charges against Vic progressed, Aceveda stayed in contact with new Captain Claudette Wyms, offering support, in the form of funding for more officers and his influence on other captains to help ease the crime statistics being reported at the Barn, in exchange for information as to how the case was progressing. After the charges against Vic were dropped, Aceveda also arrived with a photographer as part of a campaign to improve the image of the Farmington police department. All of these actions may be viewed in a larger scope of Aceveda attempting to increase his standing within the community.

As time passed, Aceveda continued to push for progress on the San Marcos killings, a massacre of several Mexican immigrants by unknown assailants, mostly at the behest of Mexican real estate developer Cruz Pezuela, who was also financing his investigation committee into a possible run for mayor. Aceveda used his clout behind the scenes to ensure that Mackey was voted out of the force at his hearing. However, events took a wild turn as the image Juan Lozano took of Aceveda performing oral sex on him suddenly reappeared in the hands of Pezuela, who gave the photo to Mackey as a way to save his job.

Vic attempted to use the photo against Aceveda, only to have it denounced as a fake and to have Aceveda's lawyer threaten him with a lawsuit for slander and blackmail. Mackey later returned with the memory card, the background story of the photo, and all the existing copies. Aceveda was stunned to hear about Cruz Pezuela's involvement in the photo and after listening to Mackey's theory, agreed to help him in his investigation into Pezuela's holdings. The scope of the operation stunned the both of them, as the Mexican drug cartels were buying into Farmington and planned on using various businesses as fronts for illegal activities, including laundering money. Aceveda received the memory card as a symbol of trust between him and Mackey and the two decided to investigate Pezuela, in hopes of shutting his operation down. Later that evening, Aceveda met with Vic, who discovered a large box of sensitive material involving several important people in Los Angeles. Vic left with the material, which, when returned to the right people, would be enough to save his job.[3]

Relationship with Vic Mackey[edit]

Aceveda has had a tempestuous relationship with Vic Mackey. During the beginning of his captaincy, he sought to take down the Strike Team for corruption in the district and assigned Detective Terry Crowley to the team. When Crowley was killed while in the company of Mackey, Aceveda dedicated himself to bringing him down. However, in a bizarre twist of fate, when Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy attempted to sacrifice both Aceveda and Mackey to save his own career, Mackey and Aceveda realized it was in their best interests to work through the problem together. From that point to the end of Aceveda's captaincy, the two maintained an uneasy alliance.

The alliance was broken when it was revealed that before Aceveda left his post, he submitted a scathing letter about Mackey to administration, effectively killing any possibility of promotion for Vic. Mackey was livid and the two nearly came to blows. Aceveda has since attempted to remain somewhat civil to Vic since his arrival at a scene possibly saved his life. However, it remains no secret that Aceveda wants Mackey imprisoned.

The rape incident, Alliance with Vic, and Mayoral Status[edit]

During a gang bust of a home, Aceveda remained behind after uniformed officers left. However, two gang members, Juan Lozano and Ricky, returned to the home and overpowered Aceveda. Restraining him and taking his weapon, Juan threatened to force Aceveda to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint. However, two officers returned and knocked on the door. Juan quickly held his hand over Aceveda's mouth and the gun to his head while Ricky checked to see if the cops would leave. Unable to hear Aceveda's muffled screams for help, they left. Juan then orally raped Aceveda and took a photo using a camera phone for posterity. It appeared that Aceveda was going to be killed, but the arrival of Mackey and the Strike Team scared the two off.

Aceveda followed Ricky over a period of several months, killing him when he robbed a Korean grocery store. He recovered the cell phone with the picture in the process, and eventually caught Juan. Though Juan threatened to go public with the picture if he was not released Aceveda called his bluff, suggesting that Juan was not tech-savvy enough to have copied the picture to a computer before Aceveda deleted it from the phone. Juan's reaction to this suggestion put Aceveda's mind to rest regarding the picture, thinking that all copies had been destroyed. To further put his mind at ease Aceveda threatened Juan's family to dissuade him from even talking about the incident, before putting him in prison. However, the incident scarred Aceveda mentally for months afterward. He became estranged from his family and eventually began having a violent affair with a prostitute, re-enacting rape fantasies with intensifying brutality until he eventually pulled a gun, essentially attempting to re-enact his own rape. Horrified, Aceveda cut off relations with the hooker and seemed to make peace with himself.

Juan, wanting revenge, contacted Aceveda through his girlfriend, who attempted to get Aceveda to acknowledge the rape by taping a conversation of her threatening to go public about the incident. Aceveda, however, predicted this move and claimed ignorance about the event before taking the tape recorder from her. The fact that Juan's girlfriend had tried to gain proof of the event by taping Aceveda's acknowledgement of it emboldened Aceveda in his belief that the photo no longer existed, despite Juan's claims. Despite this setback Juan continued in his threats to go public, claiming that the councilman no longer had any leverage over him as his grandmother had died and his cousin had been deported, both now being outside the realm of Aceveda's influence. Fearing the damage it would do to his image, Aceveda made a deal with imprisoned drug lord Antwon Mitchell to have Juan "intimated"; falsely telling him that Juan opposed the deal with the DEA; in exchange for his freedom (although Antwon's freedom was officially part of a deal with the DEA to inform against Salvadoran drug lord Bonilla). The two did fulfill their own parts of the bargain (and Juan ends killed), though Mitchell was imprisoned again after Captain Monica Rawling sacrificed her career to keep Mitchell behind bars. It seems Aceveda has put the incident behind him.

In Season 5, Aceveda worked with IAD Lt. Jon Kavanaugh to put away the Strike Team once and for all. However, after Kavanaugh witnessed several suspicious meetings between Vic and Aceveda, IAD's investigation into the Strike Team spread to the councilman as well. Kavanaugh began to dig into the highly coincidental meetings Aceveda had with Juan and Antwon just before Juan was killed. Kavanaugh's incarceration in Season 6 gave the impression that Aceveda's secret was safe, however, this was not to be. A Mexican real estate developer named Cruz Pezuela provided the camera phone picture to Vic so that he could blackmail Aceveda into keeping his job. Calling Vic's bluff, Aceveda released his lawyer on Vic threatening the loss of his pension and a long legal struggle ahead. Hearing of this, Vic returns to Cruz and gets the memory card and all of the photos for favors down the line once gets his job back. Vic again approaches Aceveda with the new information and Aceveda agrees to try to help Vic keep his job and in turn Vic later gives Aceveda the memory card and all of the original pictures. Vic and Aceveda form an alliance to find out what the corrupt developer was brewing.

The scope of the operation stunned both of them; Pezuela was helping the Mexican drug cartels buy into Farmington, and planned on using various businesses as fronts for money laundering, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Aceveda received the memory card as a symbol of trust between him and Mackey, and the two decided to investigate Pezuela, in hopes of shutting his operation down.

Later, Aceveda met with Vic, who had walked out on a Department Review Board hearing and stolen a car full of blackmail material from one of Pezuela's couriers. Aceveda was shocked to learn the dirty secrets of many of the most influential people in Southern California, including public officials, mayoral aides, and the heads of special interest groups. Vic then asked him, "Is this enough to save my job?" Aceveda responded with a look of assent. Letting David take his own vehicle, Vic taunted Pezuela's courier and drove away.

As the series would come to a close, Aceveda seemed poised to win the Los Angeles mayoral election. In addition, he and Vic continued to collaborate in order to destroy both Pezuela and the drug cartel ruled by his psychopathic boss, Guillermo Beltran. Their friendship ended, however, when Vic destroyed Aceveda's attempts to blackmail ICE Agent Olivia Murray with information from Pezuela's box.

After Vic arranged an immunity deal with ICE, Aceveda was enraged that Vic could never be prosecuted for any of his crimes. The two collaborated one last time, however, in order to arrange the arrest of Beltran. While speaking over the phone, Aceveda expressed satisfaction that ICE had realized that, "they have a reptile working for them." Mackey, however, reminded Aceveda about his prior statement about "respecting each other's endgames."


  1. ^ "The Deadbolt Interview - The Final Act of The Shield with Benito Martinez". Deadbolt. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  2. ^ "'The Shield' Season 3". NPR. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  3. ^ "Benito Martinez Interview – THE SHIELD". Collider.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.