SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office released video on Monday that showed the moments leading up to the shooting death of Banko Brown. Brown, a 24-year-old transgender Black man, was shot by a Walgreens security guard after shoplifting from the store, according to the DA.
Brown’s death has become a high-profile case, magnified after DA Brooke Jenkins opted not to charge the security guard, 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, who was arrested after the killing.
In a press conference Monday, Jenkins said Anthony will not be prosecuted because he believed his life was in imminent danger before the shooting. Brown was unarmed when he was killed, but he made a “sudden movement” before he was shot, according to Jenkins.
After the video was released, protesters lined up on Market Street in support of Brown. They carried signs with messages such as “Justice for Banko Brown,” “Disarm security guards” and “We saw the tape Banko was murdered.”
Since the video was released, several people and organizations have released public reactions. Two San Francisco supervisors, Shamann Walton and Dean Preston, referred to the killing as an “execution.”
Dean Preston: “The video of the Banko Brown shooting was released by the District Attorney today. I want to thank Banko Brown’s family, friends, and community advocates who demanded that the video be brought to light. I am horrified by this video which appears to show Banko Brown being executed for shoplifting. I do not understand how the District Attorney could have reviewed this video and concluded that the guard ‘believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self defense.’”
Shamann Walton: “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.”
Another city supervisor, Matt Dorsey, said that the video is only a small part of the evidence that is considered regarding the case.
“I have spent most of my career in offices that have central roles to play in our criminal and civil justice system, and I’ve learned over the years to never assume for myself the role of juror unless and until I actually serve on a jury,” he said as part of a Twitter thread. “Even as a non-juror, however, I’ve certainly sat through my share of trials, and I am well aware that video evidence and summary witness statements are only a small portion of the evidence that an actual jury would consider in doing justice and deciding a case’s fate.”
The Young Women’s Freedom Center, where Brown was working before his death, called his death “unjustified.”
“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. Young people, especially Black and trans youth who experience poverty deserve love, care, and the resources they need to survive and thrive. Banko deserved to live. He deserved to be protected and cherished. He deserved housing and to have his basic needs met,” the organization said.
A protest for Brown’s death will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at 825 Market Street, which is where he was killed.