Police detain 2 who rushed homicide scene
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Two men were arrested at a murder scene following a dramatic confrontation with police that escalated into physical violence. The incident took place while the production crew of a popular TV crime show was at the scene shooting a future episode.
Antwan Carl Walker and Anthony Walker appeared before a judge Tuesday morning to face multiple charges, including battery on a police officer. Authorities said the men ignored repeated warnings to stay away and instead bum-rushed a crime scene, destroying evidence and exchanging punches with officers. By late in the afternoon, Antwan had bonded out and Anthony had yet to have his bond hearing.
Just before 6 p.m. Monday, City of Miami Police officers and detectives were investigating the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Brandon Walker in the area of Northwest Third Avenue and 22nd Street in Overtown.
Officials said the victim appeared to have been riding his bicycle before someone shot him multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Traffic reporter Steven J. Grey watched the crime scene spiral into chaos from a helicopter. "The victim was surrounded with marker cones from the bullet casings," he said. He noticed TV crew members from the popular A&E reality series "The First 48" were filming a segment at the crime scene. The program has featured the Miami Police Department and its homicide detectives as they work to solve cases. One of the detectives involved in the chaos that unfolded Monday was identified by the Miami Fraternal Order of Police as Fernando Bosch.
"The next thing you know," Grey continued, "Somebody just bum-rushes the crime scene and goes to where all the bullet casings are, where the victim was shot with all the bullets around him." During the investigation, 28-year-old Anthony Walker approached the body covered by the tarp. Several police officers jumped on him to try and keep them from contaminating the scene. "The officers go and try to stop this guy from knocking over the evidence," Grey said.
One detective placed one man in a headlock and pushed him past crime scene tape, then the detective punched the man several times. The detective then pushed the man against the yellow police tape and hit him in the face. The second blow caused the man to fall to the ground, and police handcuffed him. The man's aunt deemed the display of physical violence from authorities to be excessive. "Very outrageous. It was uncalled for," said Patricia Lammons. "They were just trying to get to my nephew. They just wanted to know, was it him?"
A few seconds later, Lammons' stepdaughter rushed the crime scene and nearly removed the tarp over the body, but police grabbed her in time with her arms behind her back until another civilian helped and walked her away. Lammons was later able to view aerial footage of her nephew's melee with officers and said, "I see my two nephews and my stepdaughter trying to get there. It's just crazy." Witnesses noted that Lammons' nephews had appeared to be combative with officials even before crossing the crime scene line.
Miami Police Detective Freddie Cruz said the men's actions left them no choice but to apprehend them. "Emotions got the best of them, they broke the perimeter, and this is not an incident where we wanted to make an arrest, but they weren't cooperative, they were combative with the officers, and we had to take action," he said.
Miami FOP president Javier Ortiz issued a statement later on Monday that reads, "When police officers are handling an active homicide scene, they have no way of knowing who is good, and who is there to do harm. An individual crossing the police tape may be there to destroy evidence or to obstruct justice. In the heat of the moment, our number one objective is to preserve the scene, to bring justice to the deceased and to the deceased's family."
Police charged Anthony Walker with battery to a police officer and resisting an officer. His brother Antwan Carl was charged with resisting an officer and disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, the investigation into the shooting death continues. "We're asking all neighbors, anyone, to please come forward with information," said Cruz.
Police said they do not intend to launch an internal investigation into the officers' confrontation with the Walker brothers, but they continue their investigation into the murder of Brandon Walker.
If you have any information on this fatal shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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