MIAMI, Fla. – Body camera video shows Miami Police Officer Pedro Nava arresting Landon Kinchelow in February of 2020.
Kinchelow, a rapper who goes by the name Geovanniex, was in Wynwood that day hanging up posters for a show he was going to be performing when Nava drove up in a patrol car and told him to take them down.
“I’m just doing what I would normally do for a show, go put the word out, you know?” he told Local 10 News.
Kinchelow said he did remove them after the officer, over a loudspeaker from the patrol car, told him to take the posters down.
“He just kind of drove by and said, ‘Take that down,’ like on the microphone, so I looked back and started taking it down, and once I took it down, he’s walking up already,” Kinchelow said.
That’s when the encounter quickly escalated.
Kinchelow: “We took it down and we going on our way!”
Nava: “OK, I just asked you a simple question. I’m asking for ID and you’re trying to walk away from me.”
Kinchelow: “I don’t have my ID.”
Nava: “Why don’t you have your ID?”
Kinchelow: “Why do I need it? I’m putting up flyers?”
After a back and forth between the two, Nava put Kinchelow in handcuffs.
Nava: “This is going to go really bad if you don’t turn around.”
Kinchelow: “Sir? Why am I being detained?”
Nava: “You are.”
Kinchelow: “Why am I being detained?”
Nava: “You’re vandalizing this building right now.”
Kinchelow: “And I took it down like you asked.”
Kinchelow told Local 10 that he didn’t expect what happened next.
“They said I was resisting because I wouldn’t allow him to slam me,” he said. “He put his foot behind me. I wouldn’t allow him to slam me on the floor and that was me ‘resisting.’”
The video then showed Nava leading Kinchelow to a police car before he went inside to tell a store employee what happened.
But even she said she didn’t mind that the artist was putting up posters on the wall outside of the store.
Nava told her, “I can charge him with vandalism, but you’re OK with him putting stuff on your property then that’s fine. He won’t be charged with vandalism.”
The woman told Nava it was unnecessary.
“It’s unfortunate that a piece of paper could turn into me being in jail,” Kinchelow said.
Kinchelow was not charged with vandalism, but he was charged with felony resisting an officer and obstruction. Both of those charges were dropped.
He’s still facing a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest without violence.
The Miami Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigators concluded that Nava did nothing wrong, but the department’s watchdog group, a civilian investigative panel, isn’t so sure.
The group showed the body camera video to Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, who spent about 30 minutes with the panel discussing policing and interactions with the public.
“From what I am seeing, it’s an appropriate detention,” Acevedo said. “It takes money to take these flyers down. But I do have some questions about our investigation.”
Acevedo revealed that he has been assessing his Internal Affairs department and considering possible new procedures being put in place.
The panel is expected to write a formal letter to Acevedo with its findings and recommendations, which will be taken under consideration.