Originally, he was the captain of "the Barn", a police precinct in the 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 Four. 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.
Four months after leading the Farmington precinct, Captain David Aceveda offered a press conference to brief reporters on the improvements achieved by the Barn. Before he began, Wanda Higoshi instructed him on what to say and what some reporters would ask. When he finished, he asked Vic Mackey into his office. Miguel Esteana and his attorney Jose Garcia were waiting to file a complaint against Mackey for police abuse. As Aceveda inquired about the incident, Mackey denied it and reminded them that Esteana had been caught with several bags of heroin. After they left, Aceveda asked again about the incident, but Mackey assured him that nothing had happened.
Some time later, Detectives Dutch Wagenbach and Claudette Wyms briefed him on the situation regarding the murder of Nancy Reborg and the kidnapping of her daughter, Jenny. Claudette told Aceveda that a fence she knew called Ponyboy Harris might have information on the suspect, Nancy's husband, Lonnie. Aceveda sent her to check it out.
Aceveda then went to a park to meet with Detective Terry Crowley. Crowley brought him information regarding Vic Mackey and a drug dealer called Rondell Robinson. Since Aceveda had put Crowley to spy on Mackey, he was delivering the latest of what he had found. Aceveda then tried to convince Crowley to help him build a case against Mackey for corruption. When Crowley agreed, Aceveda called Moses Hernandez from the Department of Justice who informed Terry that they wanted to raise federal charges. Crowley then became reluctant about it, but when Moses gave him guarantees of a job with the Department in Washington, DC, he agreed.
After he returned to the Barn, he found out that Miguel Esteana had dropped his charges. When Mackey arrived, he informed him about it. Aceveda then asked Mackey for a report, but he simply dismissed him. A brief verbal fight ensued with Mackey assuring Aceveda that he wasn't in charge of him. Aceveda returned to work with Claudette and Dutch. As he watched Dutch interrogating a pedophile allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Jenny Reborg, he takes the time to ask Claudette her thoughts about Mackey. Claudette tries to not give it much thought but assures him that Mackey is an effective cop, regardless of his tactics.
Dutch and Claudette interrogated Dr. Bernard Grady, another potential kidnapper of Jenny, but hit a dead end. Aceveda then decided to bring Mackey to the interrogation room to have him torture Grady into confessing. As Mackey started attacking Grady, Aceveda decided to turn off the surveillance camera and ignore what was happening. This enraged Dutch and Claudette who left the room quickly. When Vic comes out with the address where Jenny might be held, Aceveda, Dutch, and Claudette went there. As they checked the house, they didn't find her. However, they then found a hidden basement with Jenny trapped inside.
That night, Aceveda returned to his home and fed his baby, Sophia. When he was informed that Terry Crowley had been shot during a Strike Team raid, he went to the hospital. He and Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy went inside to be briefed by the Chief Surgeon. Aceveda came back outside and informed all of the officers about Crowley's death. Aceveda decided to put Dutch and Claudette on the case but, as he went to the Barn, he realized they returned as well because Gilroy had taken them off the case to put Internal Affairs on it.
When Gilroy came to the Barn, he assured Aceveda that it was healthier to let IAD handle the situation. Gilroy also recommends him to give a eulogy during Crowley's funeral. Aceveda then went out and met again with Moses Hernandez. He asked him what had happened with the information on Terry's deal, but Moses assured him that he had taken Crowley's requests up the ladder, but he claimed he wasn't responsible for his death. Some time later, Crowley's funeral was held, and Aceveda shared some words of comfort to the family. After finishing, he noticed Vic and Shane talking suspiciously at a distance.
Back at the Barn, Aceveda found that IAD Frances Housely had finished her investigation. She gave him a preliminary report where she claimed that the Strike Team's operation, although not perfect, was competent and that Crowley's death had been an unfortunate accident. After she leaves, Aceveda asks Gilroy how she reached a decision so fast. Gilroy, however, assured him it was simply a preliminary report. Despite this, Aceveda decides to start his own interrogation and asks Dutch to help him.
Aceveda then brings Mackey to the interrogation room. Reluctant at first, Mackey answers all the questions assuring again that Crowley's death had been an accident. Aceveda thanked him for his information, but then tells Dutch that they will go for someone "weaker" like Shane Vendrell. As the Strike Team were leaving to capture someone, Aceveda holds Shane at the Barn and takes him up for interrogation. During the interrogation, Shane denies any charge. Dutch, however, realizes how he squints every time he lies. Aceveda then keeps on pressing on him until Mackey arrives. After telling Dutch and Shane to leave, Mackey tells Aceveda to get away from his men or he'll lose his patience. Aceveda simply smiles at him and tells him that he knows what happened with Crowley. As they left, Gilroy arrived and blasted Aceveda for starting an investigation on Mackey.
Later that night, Dutch stops Aceveda and asks him not to bring him into an interrogation room unless he's willing to give him all the details about the case. He also asks him if he's sure about Mackey and Crowley. Aceveda is about to answer when they notice Vic leaving with the Strike Team. As Aceveda watches him, Vic simply smiles at him.
Some days after, Aceveda gathered everybody at the Barn to announce it was "warrant sweep day". He handed out several arrest warrants to each officer and reminded them to be careful with each of them. As the arrested started coming, Sergeant Nathan Peterson complained about the load of work. Aceveda heard him and told him that he knew he could handle it. At this moment, Derrick Tripp's attorney, Marsha Kramer, came in looking for her client.
Later, Dutch came to Aceveda's office to suggest that the man who attacked Connie Riesler, William Greeley, might be responsible for other murders. However, Aceveda told him to stick with the attack on Connie and try to build upon that. When Vic came in for awhile, Aceveda introduced him to Marsha Kramer. When she asked him about Tripp, he said that they let him go after the arrest. After Vic returned from arresting a crackhead called Owen, Aceveda remarked that it happened close to the apartment where they intervened with Tripp. Vic told him that he had left his wallet and returned when he saw what was happening with Owen. As Aceveda inquired more about Tripp, Vic told him that he was probably with a woman. Aceveda then met with Kramer and gave her the same excuse.
Aceveda then met with Officer Danny Sofer in his office. He recommended her to take the sergeant's exam assuring her that he wanted her in a leadership position. Late at night, he received Nathan Peterson's resignation and assured him they'll manage.
Some nights later, when a shooting occurred at Chez Club, Aceveda arrived to check on what happened. He assigned Dutch and Pete Shockley to work the case, with the assistance of the Strike Team. After a brief verbal scuffle with Mackey, he left. The next morning, Aceveda went out with his wife, Aurora, to meet with investor and developer Jorge Machado. After meeting, Machado asked for Aceveda's help on finding the husband of his nanny, Ellie Ruiz. Later that day, Aceveda brought Ellie to the Barn and introduced her to Dutch and Claudette.
As Danny looked through mugshots for the shooting on Chez Club, she identified Rondell Robinson as one of the shooters. When Aceveda found about it, he asked her if she was sure. Aceveda then had him brought to the Barn and started interrogating him. He told Rondell he had a witness and asked who was protecting him. Rondell kept silent and asked for his lawyer.
Aceveda then met with Jorge Machado to brief him on what they had found already. After doing so, he told Machado that he knew a seat would open at the City Council next year and that he felt it was time for Latinos to step up. Machado agreed, but tells him that it could be tough selling a policeman to the voters. Aceveda then asked him if that policeman was responsible for bringing corrupt cops to justice. Machado answered that it would be professional suicide, but he could.
Aceveda then oversaw the interrogation on Eduardo Salcido. Also, after Rondell paid his bail, Aceveda made a comment about it to Vic saying that it was a lot of money for a kid from the ghetto. He later met with Machado and Ellie to inform them what had happened with her husband.
Some days later, when the Strike Team was preparing to raid the house of an Armenian drug lord, Aceveda came to the clubhouse and told Vic he would send some reinforcements with them. Mackey complained at first, but Aceveda told him he wanted to make sure everyone came back that day. After the raid, Mackey was at the evidence room logging everything with Officer Lily Cacuzza. Aceveda approached him and commented why there was no money. Mackey told him it was a delivery, not a buy. As Aceveda walked out, Mackey pulled him aside and told him that neither of them could change the fact that Terry Crowley was dead.
After Officer Julien Lowe witnessed Mackey and the Strike Team steal cocaine from a drug bust, he went to Aceveda. He thanked Julien for the information. He then went to one of the administrative employees of the Barn to see if the Lincoln Navigator had been checked back in and she told him it hadn't. He then called Mackey to inform him that the mother of a kid had called the Barn to complain about Shane pulling his son at gunpoint. He also asked him about the Lincoln Navigator, but Mackey told him he'll ask Shane about it. He then talked with Dutch and Claudette about what they found in Margos Dezerian's house. A while later, he heard screams and ran to the cage where Margos had just killed another prisoner. He quickly told someone to call Central to have him transferred to another location.
Later, when Julien and Danny intervened with a girl called Deena who was driving the stolen Lincoln Navigator, Aceveda arrived at the scene and checked the car with Julien. When they didn't find the cocaine, Aceveda took Deena to the Barn. He took her to one of the interrogation rooms and started interrogating her. Aceveda assured her that if she told him where the drugs where, he'll take the car-theft charges away. However, Deena asked for the deal in writing and signed by the District Attorney. After that, he took her out with Julien.
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. Although he does sometimes turns a blind eye to corruption, Aceveda often shows genuine concern for the community and for his fellow police officers.
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 affluent, 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.
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.
The rape incidentEdit
During a gang bust of a home, 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 acknowledgment 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 make Juan miss his court date in exchange for Antwon's freedom (although Antwon's freedom was officially part of a deal with the DEA to inform against Salvadorian drug lord Bonilla). Antwon did that by killing Juan with a 40 lb barbell. The two did fulfill their own parts of the bargain, 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.
- According to show creator Shawn Ryan's commentary on the Season 1 DVD, the Aceveda character is heavily influenced by current Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.