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Update: San Francisco DA says Walgreens security guard won't be charged in Banko Brown slaying

San Francisco DA says Walgreens security guard won't be charged in Banko Brown slaying
San Francisco DA says Walgreens security guard won't be charged in Banko Brown slaying 03:55

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Monday evening confirmed that a security guard who was arrested after allegedly shooting a young person at a downtown Walgreens last week has been released and will not face any charges. 

Police arrested the guard, 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, following the shooting reported at 6:33 p.m. last Thursday evening in the area of Market and Fourth streets. 

SF Market Street Walgreens shooting
SF Market Street Walgreens shooting CBS

UPDATE: San Francisco District Attorney's Office releases surveillance video in Banko Brown shooting    

Police said the preliminary investigation determined that a theft allegedly occurred during the incident and that Anthony was working as a private security guard at the time.

The victim was identified by the city's Medical Examiner's Office as 24-year-old San Francisco resident Chynna Brown, but activists with the Young Women's Freedom Center referred to him as Banko Brown.

In an exclusive interview with KPIX reporter Betty Yu, San Francisco District Attorney Jenkins said that her office would not be charging Anthony after the deadly shooting.

"As a prosecutor, there is no tougher job than to have to review these types of cases and really make a determination that we know is going to disappoint a community and a family," Jenkins said. "In this particularly instance, this was a shoplifting that really -- based on the facts -- escalated into a robbery." 

ALSO READ: Fatal shooting by security guard at San Francisco Walgreens puts focus on limits of private security

Jenkins said that Jenkins ended up using lethal force, firing a single shot from his firearm that ultimately killed Banko Brown.

"We had to evaluate the video, the statement of the security guard, multiple witness statements to figure out whether or not there was a credible claim of self defense. And we ultimately did not believe we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt here that the security guard had committed murder or any other crime," Jenkins explained.  

She noted that in the surveillance video of the encounter, it was apparent that physical force, violence and threats of violence were used by Brown as he tried to exit the store and take the items in question. However, Jenkins noted that the only weapon found in the incident was the gun used by Anthony.

She also offered her condolences to Brown's family and the community surrounding him in the wake of his tragic death.

The District Attorney's office released a separate statement that read in part: 

"The evidence clearly shows that the suspect believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self-defense. We cannot bring forward charges when there is credible evidence of reasonable self-defense. Doing so would be unethical and create false hope for a successful prosecution. No matter the case, however, we must follow the law and the evidence, wherever it leads. We never make decisions based on emotions or what may be politically expedient."    

Banko Brown vigil
Banko Brown vigil in front of the Market Street Walgreens where he was shot. CBS

Earlier Monday afternoon, a group of community activists gathered outside the Market Street Walgreens in downtown San Francisco where the deadly encounter took place for a vigil to honor Brown's memory and to demand justice.

"We need this City to do better. San Francisco has to be safe for young Black people and trans youth who are experiencing poverty," YWFC Co-Executive Director Julia Arroyo said in a news release Monday. 

According to the release, Brown had been struggling with housing instability for over a decade while working for the organization as a community organizer "tirelessly, making consistent calls for shelter and other basic needs."   

"We are beyond devastated by Banko's passing. He was a smart and funny young man who, though shy, made friends easily. He was resilient and tenacious and loved by our whole community," Arroyo said. "We need immediate funding for community-based housing that responds to what young people want for themselves. Instead of terrorizing and killing youth, we need real investment into their safety."   

YWFC and other community activists gathered outside of the Walgreens at 825 Market St. at 3 p.m. to demand justice for Brown.

Friends remembered Banko as an advocate who helped young people and trans people dealing with poverty.  His mentor Xavier Davenport worked with him through the Young Women's Freedom Center. He described Brown as a community organizer. 

"Banko was a quiet, quiet boy, but very loving and very helpful. Loved children, loved to be able to give back to people who were kind of like him," said Davenport.  

He said Brown spent years couch surfing in the Tenderloin. The group demanded city officials, including Mayor London Breed, and organizations do more to invest in and house young people, specifically Black trans youth. 

"This Walgreens has been more harmful to black community more than anything. A bunch of people steal from this Walgreens every single day. I know because I used to be a loss prevention manager for Old Navy for years, for almost more than a decade," he said. "Why this black young boy had to be taken away from so senseless from something that everyone in this community and everyone around San Francisco does?" 

Davenport said he last spoke to him a month ago, when Banko shared that he was experiencing hardships. 

"He wanted to actually be a fashion designer and design clothes. So he had a future," he said. 

Davenport said he was never able to secure permanent housing. 

Socorro Cori Moreland, founder of Brotherhood510, is a Black trans man who spoke at the vigil. 

"We're erased or we're neglected, right. We're here and we're making noise. We have been making noise for years but the situation at hand is that it's really just really screwed up at the fact that we're here, and it's because one of our own were killed, because they didn't have access to resources," he said. 

"I'm hoping for this Walgreens to be shut down. The next thing I'm hoping for is that these organizations that there's more integrity... in these organizations and how they're actually running, who gets beds, and who gets housing," said Davenport. 

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