Nick Navarro Put Me In Jail and Put People To Work

Categories: Luke's Gospel
Alex Izaguirre
Luther "Luke" Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. In this special edition, Luke remembers the man who had him arrested for singing obscene lyrics.

Nick Navarro was the Made-For-TV-Sheriff. Nick brought Hollywood to south Florida. He practically invented reality television by having the Broward County Sherriff's Office featured on the show Cops. Being on the front page of the Miami Herald or the lead story on the evening news was Nick's thing. That's his legacy.

Some people didn't agree with Nick's tactics such as cooking up crack cocaine for undercover stings, but he was definitely at the forefront of law enforcement. A lot of cops in Broward County owe their carreers to him. He doubled the police force during his tenure, putting a lot of people to work, especially African Americans and Cuban Americans in a county that was predominantly Anglo at the time he took over. 

It was only when he decided to come after me and 2 Live Crew that he went overboard. Once he started attacking musicians, he was attacking free speech. I remember in 1990 when we were arrested on obscenity charges for singing our raunchy songs, I was hoping Nick would be the cop to put the cuffs on me. Yet, in a rare moment, Nick wasn't there to smile for the cameras. But afterward, we definitely went toe-to-toe on Geraldo Rivera's and Phil Donahue's synidcated talk shows

Years later, when I was hosting a party for one of my artists on a yacht, I got a chuckle when I found out the firm providing security belonged to Nick. In a bit of irony, he went from arresting me to protecting me. I think over time he must have realized he was wrong for going after 2 Live Crew. 

Rest in peace Nick.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

.Hey Luke,You don' really know me as we have only had "one encounter"....I was the BSO deputyarresting you that night in Hollywood Did you know that the photo of me arresting you was in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame? I have had a number of people tell me about it.JC

Ken Klein
Ken Klein

I don’t mean to be a jerk, but in all these news sources, everyone is conveniently glossing over what a hypocritical puritan anachronistic bible-thumper he was when he tried to use the our collective government and police as his own private enforcer of 19th Century Victorian morals in his ruthless pursuit of 2 Live Crew, which was merely innocent entertainment for 18+ audiences. In this day and age, his puritannical approach to finding anything adult “obscenity” looks backward almost to the point of bordering on fascism.Interesting that everyone seems to have forgotten all of this; the tributes to this man point only to the positives. I recall his attitude back around 1990 actually stepped quite a ways outside of his legal authority and he’s lucky no one is making a bigger deal about the “sheriff who took the law into his own hands” or anything.  I mean he was trying to get store owners who DARED sell a rap album *arrested*.  There's possibly some implicit racism in all this as well.  We know nowadays that having random people *arrested* for selling a (quite innocent by today's standards) music album by leveraging one's status as Sheriff is grotesquely overstepping one's bounds, and this is clearly evidenced by the utter repudiation of his antics that was handed down by the various courts.  He should have been sued for his personal actions, but I guess its all water under the bridge.Well, I guess when someone dies, it’s natural for people to say nice things about them, but let’s not forget that this man tried pretty hard to enforce his extreme religious views on an entire city, the law notwithstanding. Now he can rest in peace, but let’s let the record show the truth.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault