KANSAS CITY, Kan. — He was behind bars for days, facing charges for a crime he didn’t commit.
Kansas City, Kansas, police admit this is a case of mistaken identity, but Earvin Nunnally and his family call it carelessness.
“The system is not built for everybody to win,” Nunnally said.
Thursday evening Nunnally was sitting at the dinner table with his family, but the day before, he was in jail.
“I was just sitting in a cell looking at the walls,” Nunnally said. “That’s not a place I ever pictured myself being in.”
Nunnally said he was arrested on Monday after going to the courthouse to get copies of his fingerprints.
He said he recently tried to buy a gun but was told he was prohibited from buying a gun. Nunnally said he was told he needed to send his fingerprints to the FBI.
When he went to the courthouse, Nunnally said officers told him they were arresting him for distributing fentanyl and conspiracy to sell fentanyl with a $20,000 bond.
“Then he asks me what’s my name. I spelled out my name, and he put it in the system like, ‘It’s coming back to you,’” he said. “He’s like, ‘When is your date of birth? I put it in the system, and he said, ‘It’s coming back to you.'”
Turns out they mistook Nunally for his cousin with the same name, Irvin Nunnally. The two have the same full name, but spell their first name different.
“We know that this is not Earvin, like I didn’t know what to do,” Nunnally’s sister, Shakedra Nunnally said.
Shakedra Nunnally took to social media and created a post about what happened. She tagged KCKPD and Wyandotte District Attorney Mark Dupree.
It caught the attention of KCK police.
That same day, Nunnally was released from jail with all charges dropped.
“You could be in my shoes,” Nunnally said. “Going to jail behind something somebody else doing that got a similar name to you.”
KCKPD said Nunally was falsely identified to investigators. The agency released the following statement:
“During a drug trafficking investigation of Irvan Lee Nunnally, he was falsely identified to investigators as his cousin, Earvin Lee Nunnally. A warrant was issued on 12/9/21 in that name and on Monday, April 4th, the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office arrested his cousin. Earlier Thursday, when we were alerted to the situation, we immediately worked in earnest with the Wyandotte County District Attorney to have charges dropped and facilitate his swift release. In addition, we will work to ensure that this arrest is removed from his record.”Kansas City, Kansas Police Department
FOX4 also reached out to the prosecutor’s office which said: “The charges were dismissed yesterday. This office was not the arresting agency. We worked to get him out as soon as we were made aware of the situation.”