Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker issued a statement today on the need for the community to take more care in assisting police at crime scenes, and she announced charges related to alleged tampering with evidence at a recent homicide scene.
Brandon J. Kumm, dob: 3/5/1997, faces a misdemeanor charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence.*
According to court documents, Kumm was captured on video surveillance cameras taking a bag of what appeared to be marijuana from one of the victims prior to police arriving on the scene at the Oct. 2, 2018 shooting at a BP Gas Station near 30th and Van Brunt Blvd.
Baker issued this statement today:
The job of managing a crime scene requires citizens to show compassion for victims and to help police do their job of managing the scene. On October 2, 2018, I was angered to see community members failing to uphold these important duties to assist police.
As charging documents here will attest, a community member took a bag of what appeared to be marijuana from one victim’s body.
In addition, photos were posted to social media before police even arrived at the scene. As a result, parents learned of their son’s murder from viewing a photo on social media of his lifeless body lying on the pavement of the gas station parking lot. The police had no time to notify the family, innocent of any offense, of this trauma. A victim’s advocate was not afforded the time to help this family. Our community showed no compassion for this family.
We expect better of our community. Both victims in this case are deceased, so no charges are expected related to the two fatal shootings. But together we can move closer to achieving the goal of a safe community by first showing compassion and common decency.
Finally, we also issue this warning: Those taking photos at crime scenes should know that those images are evidence and will be sought by police. We expect any photo or video taken at the crime scene will voluntarily and immediately be turned over to law enforcement, as should be expected in any community.
Let’s work together to build a safe community.
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.