Not satisfied with a man complying with his orders to remove a flyer he had hung up in the flyer-infested neighborhood of Wynwood, a Miami police officer stepped out of his car and demanded to see the man’s identification.
But the rapper, Landon Geovonni Kinchelow whose stagename is Geovonniex, told the cop he did not have his identification since he was not driving. He was also reluctant to provide his name believing the cop had no right to detain him.
The cop, P. Nava, then told him not to leave because he was calling for backup. Kinchelow decided to walk away anyway which was when Nava shoved him against the wall.
In a video recorded by his friends, Kinchelow asks repeatedly why he was being detained, pointing out that Nava did not even have his body camera on which is pretty typical of cops in South Florida who enjoy a lack of legitimate oversight.
“You are being very aggressive, turn around,” Nava says as he aggressively manhandles him, already setting the stage for the lies he planned to write in his report.
“It’s going to go really bad if you don’t turn around,” Nava tells him a few seconds later.
Within minutes, an additional seven cop cars pull up to ensure a simple code violation was treated as a violent crime. After all, modern-day policing is all about escalating every interaction to the point of death, if necessary, the Constitution be damned. And we, as citizens, are expected to accept this or be labeled “cop haters.”
The truth is, even though the Miami Police Department has a high rate of minority police officers, it is no different than police departments across the country who arrest black people at a much higher rate than white people or Hispanics, according to a 2018 ACLU study.
And that appears to be the case here because Wynwood, the neighborhood where this took place, is a renowned entertainment district whose graffiti-painted walls are littered with flyers promoting local concerts. Even employees of the store where Kinchelow had posted his flyer told police they did not have a problem with it.
And the matter should have ended as soon as Kinchelow removed the flyer but the cop’s ego came into play when the rapper did not bow down to his authority by providing his name.
According to the Miami New Times:
“I’m very good friends with the owners of the stores there,” Kinchelow tells New Times. “I always get permission before I put up flyers on someone’s store. And anywhere else in the neighborhood is just a wall. I figured since Wynwood is known for artist expression, it was a perfect place for us to be. We had a whole team of us, maybe eight people.”
Kinchelow says that while he was tacking a flyer to a wall on NW 24th Street, an MPD cop drove up and used the cruiser’s loudspeaker to order him to take it down. The hip-hop artist says that by the time he removed the piece of paper, the officer was standing behind him and wouldn’t let him leave.
“He continued to ask me for my ID, but I said I didn’t bring my wallet out of the car since I don’t need my wallet when I’m putting up flyers,” Kinchelow recounts. “At one point he asked me, ‘Do you own this building?’ I thought it was a rhetorical question, so I didn’t answer. But I think me not answering upset him more. So then he tried to turn me around — but he’s not strong at all — and I just kept asking him to take his hands off me and saying I could turn around myself.”
Over the course of the five-minute video clip, the officers never tell Kinchelow the reason he’s being detained. In the end, they push him into the back of a cruiser and drive him away.
“I’m more upset about the force than anything else,” Kinchelow says. “The officer was like stuttering and shaking. He was scared. I don’t know why he was scared, but he could barely get on the cuffs. But jail is a process I don’t wish on anybody. It’s really cold, and it’s a lot of waiting.”
Kinchelow was charged with criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence and had to post a $1,000 bond. He said it was the first time he had been arrested.
He says he wound up being charged with criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence and had to post a $1,000 bond. He didn’t get home till 6 a.m. the day of his show.
“I’ve never even so much as had a ticket, and my first time in jail was for promoting my own show,” he told the Miami New Times.
Below is the video of the interaction as well as a radio interview with Kinchelow from early February where he discusses his music.