San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced on Monday that she will not charge a Walgreens security guard for shooting and killing a transgender shoplifter because the guard’s life was in “mortal danger.”
The DA released footage showing the violent incident involving security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, 33, and Banko Brown, 24, on April 27. Anthony was working at the drugstore downtown when the altercation occurred. Brown was reportedly unarmed.
The graphic footage shows Brown with a stuffed bag as he attempts to leave the store. Anthony blocks and confronts the shoplifter. The two fought and rolled on the ground. Brown got up and headed for the exit and Anthony followed. Brown appeared to lunge at the security guard who then shot him once in the chest, resulting in the death of the transgender.
(Video Credit: Daily Mail)
Leftists are incensed over Brown being killed because he was unarmed and because they assert it was only petit theft. Anthony claims that Brown repeatedly threatened to stab him but investigators found no knife at the scene, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
After Brown collapsed on the sidewalk outside, a crowd gathered around him. He was rushed to the hospital where he later succumbed to his wound.
Initially, a murder charge was filed against Anthony but was later dropped after the DA determined it was self-defense. In a report that was released on Monday, the DA cited “insufficient evidence” that the security guard’s actions rose to the level of a murder or manslaughter charge. The DA contended that the evidence showed Anthony was “sincerely afraid” for his life.
“All of this evidence strongly suggests that Anthony firing at Brown in self-defense was objectively reasonable,” the DA’s report stated.
(Video Credit: ABC News)
In his interview with the police, Anthony said he felt his life was in danger.
Anthony told police he didn’t have any handcuffs and his partner was on break when the altercation happened, so he tried to hold Brown’s arms back and put him in “a chokehold-type move.” Anthony said he told Brown he would let him go if he calmed down. He then released Brown but drew his gun and kept it pointed at the ground in case Brown tried to stab him. Anthony said he fired the gun when Brown turned back around and lunged toward him, not realizing that Brown would just “try to spit” at him.
“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 said.
He went on to say, “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.”
Protests ensued after the announcement was made that charges against Anthony were being dropped. Activists attended the announcement last week and were also present at a meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, holding signs reading “Justice for Banko Brown.”
Protesters gathered in San Francisco’s Market Street Monday protesting the DA’s decision to not press charges after a deadly Walgreens shooting. https://t.co/VbLCS9CaA2 pic.twitter.com/WebWGpFPx8
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) May 16, 2023
According to the Daily Mail, one protester named Lia McGeever screamed over the death of Brown. The deceased shoplifter was not only transgender but also homeless and an intern with the Young Women’s Freedom Center.
“I hate a lot of people on this board for the reasons that led up to Banko Brown’s death,” McGeever declared.
Anthony told The San Francisco Standard in an interview, “[I’m] still dealing with it, still don’t understand and don’t have the time to reflect. It’s not like I go through this many times. This is a very life-changing matter.”
WATCH: In a recorded police interview, Walgreens security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony discusses how he remembers the fatal shooting of Banko Brown unfolding.
The video is part of a trove of evidence and video footage related to the killing that was released by SF DA… pic.twitter.com/XX4x407ewZ
— The San Francisco Standard (@sfstandard) May 16, 2023
He alluded to the fact that security guards are under intense pressure during this type of confrontation, stating, “This is important for more people to be more aware of.”
“It’s a lot to deal with. It’s a lot of pressure. A person can only take so much. When you are limited to certain options, something will happen. Who has my back? Nobody. You are left with no support. It’s a frightening feeling with a lot of people around you,” Anthony added.
Community activists gathered outside the Walgreens last week for a vigil to honor Brown’s memory. Local residents have left flowers and candles as well.
The Young Women’s Freedom Center wrote in a social media post, “Our community stands strong together in the face of tragedy. In times like these, we show up for each other and we fight for our folks, especially for our siblings that are taken from us way too soon. Thank you to every voice that has spoken, every foot that has marched, and every fist raised in solidarity.”
SF Community: We’re gathering on Monday to demand justice for Banko Brown. Banko was a community organizer here at YWFC who was loved by our whole community. We DEMAND housing and safety for young people in San Francisco. Please join us to honor Banko’s life. pic.twitter.com/ipmHDdrrKp
— Young Women's Freedom Center (@YoungWomenFree) April 29, 2023
San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton released a statement on the video of the shooting death of Banko Brown, declaring, “I have watched the video several times, Banko Brown was clearly walking backwards, after being thrown to the ground, punched, and abused by the security guard for several seconds. The security guard successfully subdues Banko and lets him go. Banko walks backwards and is executed. The security guard had the upper hand the entire time and even told Banko that he was letting him go as stated in the transcript released by the DA. Where is the perceived threat? DA Jenkins’ decision to not charge gives every armed security guard in San Francisco a license to have an open season to shoot and kill black and transgender people for alleged shoplifting.”
Because of skyrocketing crime like this, a number of major retail chains are shuttering their stores, packing up, and leaving San Francisco. Those chains include Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Office Depot, and Anthropologie.
Nordstrom chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom blamed San Francisco’s downward spiral in recent years for reducing in-store customers “and our ability to operate successfully.”
Stores that are staying such as Target have been forced to lock their stock behind glass to deter shoplifters.
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