The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has released surveillance videos showing the homicide of Banko Brown.
The string of videos released includes footage from the Walgreens store cameras and a police officer’s body-worn camera.
Brown, a 24-year-old transgender Black man, was unarmed when he was shot on April 27 for shoplifting.
The Walgreens store security guard responsible for the shooting was 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony. He was immediately arrested after the killing. However, he was released from jail and remains out of custody.
(WARNING: Graphic Video. The Walgreens store surveillance video can be viewed below.)
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins states no criminal charges will be filed against Anthony.
On Monday afternoon, Jenkins had a news conference to disclose why the case will not be prosecuted.
Jenkins said Anthony believed he was in danger because of Brown’s “sudden movement.” The guard also told SFPD detectives that Brown threatened to stab him while they were wrestling inside the store.
According to Anthony, Brown repeatedly said, “I’m going to stab you! I’m going to stab your a**!” Anthony told detectives that he did not see anything in Brown’s hand, but he feared being stabbed because of the threats.
Walgreens’ camera recorded Brown trying to walk out of the store with a bag full of stolen items. Anthony confronts him, restrains him, and tackles him to the ground.
For a few seconds, Brown was on the ground before standing up, grabbing the bag, and trying to leave the store again. Brown was in the store’s doorway when Anthony opened fire.
Two San Francisco supervisors described Brown’s death as an apparent execution.
“I am horrified by this video which appears to show Banko Brown being executed for shoplifting,” Supervisor Dean Preston told KRON4.
Supervisor Shamann Walton said, “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. 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. 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.”
A woman who was shopping and witnessed the shooting is identified as “Witness 1” in the DA’s declination report. After the woman heard one gunshot, she heard the guard say, “Dammit … someone call the police, someone call 911,” as he re-holstered his gun, the report states.
A gravely-injured Brown said, “Sorry man, that shouldn’t have happened. I was stupid,” according to the woman.
The whole incident happened in 54 seconds.
The District Attorney’s Office wrote, “Based on the criminal investigation, review of evidence, and evaluation of the case, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the filing of criminal charges against the suspect in the Banko Brown death investigation.”
Jenkins told reporters that there is not enough evidence to prove guilt to a jury beyond the shadow of a doubt. Anthony has a strong case for self-defense, she said.
DA investigators wrote, “Anthony is seen holding a firearm in his right hand still pointed towards the ground. As Brown was walking out of the store, Brown suddenly turns toward Anthony and moves as if to lunge at him. Within about one second of Brown turning back and making this lunging motion, Anthony raises his firearm and shoots Brown one time in the chest.”
Anthony is from the Kingdom Group Protective Services, and his job title is “Robbery Suppression Officer.”
Anthony told police that he could have lost his job if Brown had escaped.