Tempers flare, scuffle breaks out at funeral service for trans Walgreens shoplifter

Funeral services for the San Francisco transgender homeless shoplifter named Banko Brown, who was shot and killed by a Walgreens security guard, spiraled into chaos as tempers flared and violence threatened to consume the gathering.

(Video Credit: ABC7 News Bay Area)

The service was held Thursday at the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco and was led by NAACP Reverend Dr. Amos Brown. It was attended by family members and activists. The gathering took place the day before the announcement of a wrongful-death lawsuit against Walgreens, the guard who shot Brown, and Kingdom Group Protective Services, which is the security company that employed the security guard.

For about ten minutes the service devolved into bedlam as anger boiled over among attendees. Different factions yelled at each other and it looked like a fight would break out with family members standing in between them trying to calm everyone down.

Rev. Brown had to step in and take control back for Brown’s final farewell. He, of course, tied the death of Brown back to the struggles facing the black community.

“It mirrors the pathological experiences of black folk in this city,” Rev. Brown stated seemingly blaming the powers-that-be and everyone else but Brown for his untimely death, according to KTVU.

Banko Brown’s stepmother asked upset attendees inside the church to calm down.

“They had a lot of feelings going. We had to let everybody calm down first and try and get our emotions in check,” relative Calvin Breedlove noted, according to ABC7 News.

The family proclaimed that their anger and grief were uncontrollable because of their collective frustration and rage from the loss of someone they say brought joy and love to so many. There was no mention of shoplifting, spitting on the guard, or repeatedly threatening to stab him to death.

“His family shouldn’t be like that,” Brown’s cousin Harrishiana Lee stated. “His brother shouldn’t be screaming like that, because he don’t have his twin no more. It affects you differently when you’re so close to somebody.”

Many in the gathering continued the emotional drama outside, saying their final goodbyes to the hearse carrying Brown’s casket.

“It’s a lot of pain here from the family,” John Burris, the Browns’ attorney, stated. “Banko was young. He has two families, plus a community. All of them are outraged by what happened.”

“Anthony was on edge, a powder keg waiting to explode. Banko’s apparent shoplifting was the spark that set Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony off. Walgreens and Kingdom Protective Services ordered their security to be more aggressive, causing their unfit security guard to blow up and kill Banko over nothing,” Burris speciously claimed.

Another attorney that is representing the Brown family said that no one deserves to be killed for shoplifting or for arguing with a security guard.

“The security company put pressure on the guards to more actively physically detain shoplifters. It’s clear Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony felt that pressure and Anthony cracked under the pressure and shot and killed someone who posed no significant threat to him. He should be in jail,” attorney Ben Nisenbaum asserted.

Brown was shot twice in the chest by a security guard named Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony who was working for Walgreens on April 27. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is declining to prosecute Anthony for the shooting, contending that the security guard feared for his life and it was self-defense. There was no weapon found on Brown following his death. Attorney General Rob Bonta is vowing to investigate the shooting.

(Video Credit: Daily Mail)

“It seems like nobody is listening, but eventually in due time, somebody will hear us. And somebody will give us justice,” Asia Hubbard, Brown’s former partner, vowed according to KTVU.

The lawsuit alleges that Walgreens’ policy of hiring armed security guards was the wrong approach to address its theft problem due to homeless and low-income clientele frequenting the store.

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