Sponsored link
Monday, September 25, 2023

Sponsored link

News + PoliticsCrimeSupes say DA erred in failing to charge security guard who killed...

Supes say DA erred in failing to charge security guard who killed Banko Brown

Huge crowd demands justice as Brooke Jenkins, without releasing video evidence, says the shooter of a Black trans man acted in self-defense.


Elections have consequences. Media narratives have consequences. As Gov. Gavin Newsom calls in the national guard and Mayor London Breed demands more cops in the Tenderloin, a young Black trans man is dead—and the armed guard who shot him faces no consequences.

The Board of Supes meeting today was packed with people demanding justice for Banko Brown after District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, elected on a tough-on-crime platform, decided not to charge the shooter.

Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony was released from jail this morning and is back on the streets.

Community members rally to demand action in the Brown shooting. Photo by Steve Rhodes

Public comment went on for some two hours, with dozens of people appearing in the chambers and many more calling in.

The details of the case are still unclear, and I haven’t seen any video, but the speakers today made several points. Several said that Brown had been shot in the back. Others said that the young man hadn’t stolen anything from Walgreens; “he had a receipt,” one said.

Jenkins said that “The evidence clearly shows that the suspect believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self-defense.” But the DA’s Office has not yet released any video of the incident.

Sup. Aaron Peskin said that he, as the district supervisor, has access to details on the shooting. “I am deeply concerned by the DA’s decision not to charge. … if you had the details I have, this appears to be at the very least a manslaughter charge.”

Sup. Shamann Walton said: “You do not have the right to execute someone for shoplifting. He, along with Peskin and other supes, called on the DA to release the video.

This is the latest example of Jenkins declining or delaying criminal charges for a law-enforcement person who shot someone in at the very least questionable circumstances.

Most security guards are trained to observe and report, not to shoot people. But Walgreens, perhaps responding to the flawed, and increasingly dangerous media narrative around crime, hired an armed guard for the 825 Market Street store.

Brown, who was an organizer at the Young Women’s Freedom Center and lacked stable housing, was in the store and was leaving as the shooting happened.

It’s hard to make absolute statements as long as the DA hasn’t released the video or other evidence, and at this point we still have no autopsy. The SF Standard, quoting an anonymous source who is almost certainly either a cop or someone in the DA’s Office, reported:

Anthony was on duty last Thursday when he saw Banko Brown shoplifting, said a source with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details. Anthony questioned Brown, and an altercation ensued. Brown threatened to stab Anthony, who had pulled out his gun but had not yet pointed it, the source said.

As Walton noted, I don’t think any civilized society allows the death penalty for shoplifting. The entire idea of an armed guard confronting an alleged shoplifter is deeply disturbing.

There are no indications of any sort that Brown initiated the incident; Anthony, even according to the cops (and again, I’m assuming that’s who gave the Standard the tip) set the situation in motion by drawing a gun and “questioning” a young Black man.

A lot of the speakers directed their rage, and in some cases their tears (and in one case, a minute-long impassioned scream) at the supes, because the supes have open public comment. The Mayor’s Office and the DA’s Office offer no such opportunity; the mayor makes a point of avoiding situations where she could be confronted by the community.

But the supes have little to do with this situation. This problem exists because the news media, with the urging of the mayor and her allies, drove Chesa Boudin out of office, and Breed appointed Brooke Jenkins to the job.

Those parties also need to be accountable.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

Top reads

Party Radar: Quick ‘n dirty guide to Folsom 2023 parties

Disco Daddy, Queerbait, Power Snatch, Horse Meat Disco, Whip Appeal, Sub Mission, Holesome Folsom—these are just a few!

Twitter trolls attack Preston for the most common-sense approach to crime

The Big Money assault on progressive politics is gearing up for 2024.

More by this author

Twitter trolls attack Preston for the most common-sense approach to crime

The Big Money assault on progressive politics is gearing up for 2024.

Families in RVs near Lake Merced may have to go—but Mayor’s Office delays safe parking spot

Four-hour parking rules would mean eviction. Why isn't Breed pushing the obvious solution?
Sponsored link
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED