San Francisco’s DA has released graphic footage of a Walgreens security guard shooting dead a transgender shoplifter – and said she will not charge him because he was in ‘mortal danger’.
Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, 33, was working at the drugstore in the downtown area on April 27 when he shot unarmed Banko Brown, 24. A murder charge against Anthony was dropped after the DA ruled the killing was self-defense.
Graphic surveillance footage released on Monday shows Brown holding a bag as he walks toward the store exit. Anthony steps in his path, confronts him about allegedly stealing from the store, which leads to a scuffle before Brown is shot.
His death sparked outrage across the Bay Area, but despite the demands to charge Anthony, DA Brooke Jenkins’ office announced on Monday that they would not.
Graphic surveillance footage released on Monday appears to show Brown holding a bag as he walks toward the store exit. Anthony steps in his path, confronts him
Newly-released video shows the moment a Walgreens security guard shot and killed Banko Brown (pictured), but the San Francisco DA has refused to charge him
The surveillance footage shows Brown in a white T-shirt and gray sweatpants, walking out of the store, when the confrontation and tussle between him and the security guard unfolds.
Anthony is able to pin Brown to the ground, but then lets him go and Brown walks out of the store, still clutching his bag. More words are exchanged and then Brown appears to move slightly forward with his arms out, then backs up just as Anthony shoots him.
Brown collapses on the sidewalk outside the store and a crowd of people gather around him. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Anthony was originally booked on suspicion of murder the day after the shooting, but then released without charge after the District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said Anthony was in ‘mortal danger’ and ‘acted in self-defense.’
In the report released on Monday, the DA citied ‘insufficient evidence’ that his actions equated to a murder or manslaughter charge. Instead, the evidence showed Anthony was ‘sincerely afraid,’ the DA’s office said.
His death sparked outrage across the Bay Area, but despite the many demands to charge Anthony, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ office said Monday they would not be charging him
The surveillance footage shows Brown in a white T-shirt and gray sweatpants, walking out of the store, when the confrontation and tussle between him and the security guard unfolds
Brown and Anthony are in a violent tussle before Brown is fatally shot
Anthony is able to pin Brown to the ground, but then lets him go and Brown walks out of the store, still clutching his bag
.More words are exchanged and then Brown appears to move slightly forward with his arms out, then backs up just as Anthony shoots him. He collapsed on the sidewalk outside the store
‘All of this evidence strongly suggests that Anthony firing at Brown in self-defense was objectively reasonable,’ the office’s report reads.
The report also notes that that Anthony claimed Brown repeatedly threatened to stab him. However, investigators found no knife at the scene or on Brown, the SF chronicle reported.
Protests had already began following the decision to drop the charges against Anthony last week and at a meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, activists held up signs reading ‘Justice for Banko Brown’.
One protestor, who identified herself as Lia McGeever, erupted into a scream over the death of Brown, who was homeless and an intern with the Young Women’s Freedom Center.
She said: ‘I hate a lot of people on this board for the reasons that led up to Banko Brown’s death.
Attendees light candles in honor of Brown during a vigil
Floral tributes and candles where left in memory of Banko
Speaking to The San Francisco Standard , Anthony said: ‘[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.’
Anthony pointed to the pressure that security guards are under during these types of confrontations, saying: ‘This is important for more people to be more aware of,’ he said. It was happening too frequently.
‘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.’
Last week, a group of community activists gathered outside the Walgreens in downtown San Francisco for a vigil to honor Brown’s memory.
Pictured: Protestors at the vigil on Monday
Floral tributes and candles where left in memory of Brown, with the Young Women’s Freedom Center in the city organizing it.
In a social media post, they said: ‘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.’
It comes after a number of major chains announced they would be closing their stores in San Francisco due to soaring crime figures.
Retailers including Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Office Depot and Anthropologie have all announced they would be closing stores in the city.
Nordstrom chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom blamed the state of San Francisco in recent years for reducing foot traffic ‘and our ability to operate successfully.’
Remaining stores like Target have been reduced to locking up their entire stock behind glass to deter shoplifters.