On Monday, the district attorney for San Francisco released a surveillance video that shows an on-duty Walgreens security guard shooting and killing a suspected shoplifter. She also released other videos and papers that she says support her decision not to file charges against the guard.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins gave out the information because people were upset about the death of unarmed 24-year-old Banko Brown outside a downtown Walgreens on April 27. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last week asking her office and the police to share more evidence. She didn’t charge Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony because she felt she had to protect herself.
The tweet below verifies the news:
San Francisco DA releases video of Walgreens security guard fatally shooting alleged shoplifter https://t.co/2pfJwzix4p
— Fox 18 KLJB (@YourFox18) May 16, 2023
But putting out the surveillance film didn’t seem to stop the critics in a city where shoplifting is common and people have different ideas about how to deal with crime, especially when the suspect is homeless or poor.
Brown is walking toward the door with a bag in his hand when Anthony stops him. Anthony then hits Brown several times. The video doesn’t have sound. They fight until Anthony holds Brown down on the floor. Shoppers kept coming into the store while the fight was going on.
Brown takes the bag and walks out of the shop when Anthony lets him go. He turns around and seems to take a step toward Anthony. At that moment, Anthony raises his gun and fires once, sending Brown back onto the ground outside.
Anthony told the cops that he told Brown to put the things back, but Brown was aggressive and fought to keep the things. He said he told Brown he could go if he cooled down, but Brown kept saying he was going to stab him. Brown did not have a knife on him.
Anthony said he let Brown go, but he pulled out his gun and kept it pointed at the ground in case Brown charged. He said that he shot when Brown moved toward him because he didn’t know that Brown would only spit at him.
The Video Doesn’t Show Why the Killing Happened
Supervisor Shamann Walton of San Francisco said in a statement that the video doesn’t show why the killing happened. He plans to join Board President Aaron Peskin in asking the state attorney general to look into the prosecutor’s choice in a way that is not connected to the prosecutor.
But Jenkins, who first threw out the case on May 1, said that even after looking for more proof, there was nothing to disprove the guard’s claim that he was acting in self-defense. She asked people to look at all the proof, like witness statements and police reports, since the video footage doesn’t have sound.
“There will be a temptation, as human beings, to only view the video footage of this incident and nothing else. We are accustomed to seeing videos online, and that often is what captures our attention rather than going the extra step to look deeper,” she said in a news conference. she said in a news conference.
Brown had trouble staying in a home and worked as a community organizer for the Young Women’s Freedom Center, a non-profit that helps young women and transgender kids.
“We do not need to see the video to know that Banko Brown’s killing was unjustified. Armed force is not a justified response to poverty,” said Julia Arroyo, the center’s co-executive director, in a statement Monday. “We must live with the sobering reality that he was killed for no other cause but $14.”
Arroyo has said that Brown is a smart and funny young man who is shy but has no trouble making friends.
Last week, Supervisor Dean Preston put forward a bill that says private security guards can’t pull out their guns unless there is a real and clear threat to a person.
Walgreens did not reply right away to an email asking for a comment. Downtown stores like Walgreens, Target, and others have been upset about brazen stealing. Whole Foods recently said that it would briefly close a downtown store because it was unsafe for employees.
In a statement, Kingdom Group Protective Services, which provides security for Walgreens, said that it is working with law enforcement and couldn’t say anything else.
State records show that Anthony has had a security guard license since 2012.
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Jenkins became district attorney last year, after Chesa Boudin was kicked out of office because people thought he was too easy on criminals. She promised to be a tough but fair lawyer who wouldn’t ignore things like shoplifting and selling drugs in public.
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