On Monday, Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco District Attorney, announced that her office will not file charges against Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, the security guard at the Market Street Walgreens who shot and killed 24-year-old Banko Brown on April 27, “during what police are calling a shoplifting incident.”
A burgeoning community organizer, Brown was well “known for helping Black transgender youth and had been struggling with homelessness in the weeks before his death.”
Last week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors wrote a letter to Jenkins asking that her office “release the surveillance video showing the April 27 shooting after no charges were brought against the guard during the 72 hours he was in custody.”
Along with the announcement, the district attorney’s office released a public declination report, which includes evidence and video footage on their website, due to the “extraordinary public interest.”
Surveillance footage of the confrontation shows Anthony “trying to stop Brown as he tries to leave Walgreens with a bag of items.” After Brown pushed past Anthony’s shoulder, he shoved back and the two then engaged in a physical struggle, and both were wrestling on the ground before Anthony applied a chokehold to Brown.
In a police interview, Anthony said he thought he was in danger during the encounter with Brown, “The whole time we were wrestling, she’s saying she’s gonna stab me and that’s what really put the fear in my heart.”
Anthony told police, “She walked towards the door, but then she turned around and advanced back turned towards me. That’s when I already had my weapon drawn and when she moved towards me, that’s when I fired one shot. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t I felt like I was in danger. I felt like I was going to be stabbed…and I didn’t know what to expect after the hostility.”
The fatal shot that would end Brown’s life occurred on the sidewalk outside the store, and video shows Brown appearing to make a lunging motion toward Anthony, and “[t]hat’s when Anthony fires one shot hitting Brown in the chest,” which Brown later died from. Since no weapon was found on the body, many have been outraged about the lack of charges against Anthony.
In response to those protesting, DA Jenkins said, “At this time there is nothing to rebut his statements regarding the fact that he acted in self-defense,” adding “It was our conclusion that we did not have such evidence and that is why we have arrived at this decision at this time.”
The attorney representing the Brown family, John Burris said he is planning to move forward with a lawsuit, telling CNN, “I’ve seen the tape and looked it over pretty closely and I believe this shooting death was unjustified,” continuing with the fact that, “The family is very disturbed that no prosecution has taken place, particularly the father and the mother, and they would like the matter to be sent to the attorney general’s office for review.”
After the announcement about no charges being levied against Anthony, Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President, is also pressing for more action and has asked “the state attorney general and the US Department of Justice to review the case.”