The aftermath of a killing in Miami turned chaotic Monday when police fought with the victim’s distraught relatives who rushed into the crime scene.
The victim, identified as Brandon Walker, 25, had been shot several times and died on the sidewalk next to his bicycle between Wynwood and Overtown.
Several frantic relatives arrived at the street corner and ran past the police tape toward the victim, whose body lay under a tarp in front of an apartment building at 2191 NW Third Ave.
A traffic helicopter hovering above captures video footage of a high-profile Miami homicide detective repeatedly punching the victim’s brother.
The scene played out around 4:30 p.m. and prompted the department to send a spokesman to the scene to explain the officers’ actions.
“The men had contaminated the crime scene; they also struck the officers,” Miami police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz told reporters.
Hours after the shooting, relatives watched the video of the detective throwing punches and the victim’s grieving brother.
“This is unbelievable. They should have had better control of the scene,” Walker’s step-aunt Patricia Lammos said of the police officers who responded. “Anybody could have crossed the rope.” She added the family members had been overcome with grief.
For now, Miami police said only the homicide is under investigation. On Monday night, the Miami Fraternal Order of Police defended the actions of the officers and the homicide detective, identified as Fernando Bosch, who has appeared on the A&E police reality show, The First 48 Hours and was featured in a 2005 documentary called Code 33, which details the department’s capture of a Little Havana rapist.
Here’s what the video, shot from a Total Traffic Network chopper, shows:
The camera captures Walker’s older brother first rush past the police tape to the body on the sidewalk, which is surrounded by evidence markers pinpointing spent bullet casings.
Several Miami police officers grab him and try to lead him away.
Then Walker’s younger brother, wearing a white tank top and turquoise shorts, pushes through the yellow police tape and joins the melee, trying to help his older brother now scuffling with up to six officers and detectives.
Bosch, in a white shirt, tie and slacks, grabs and pushes the second Walker brother back to the other side of the yellow police tape.
As he does, Bosch throws three fast punches at the man’s face, briefly chokes him and then punches him a fourth time. The final punch is so powerful that it knocks the man to the ground. He's then handcuffed and arrested by a uniformed officer.
As that incident ends, Walker’s mother is seen running to her dead son and trying to lift the tarp to make sure it’s him. She, too, is grabbed by an officer and led away, handcuffed and detained.
Monday night, a tearful Lammos stood over the spot where Walker had died. There were a dozen bullet holes on the bloodstained pavement.
“They told me the shooter stood over him and shot him several times as he lay on the ground,” Lammos said.
“He didn’t deserve to die this way; he was so young,” she said.