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California AG Backs Decision Not to Charge Guard in Banko Brown Killing

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A group of people embrace each other at a funeral. One holds a pamphlet that says, "Brown" in big white letters.
Attendees of Banko Brown's funeral embrace outside the historic Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, California on May 25, 2023. In April 2023, a Walgreens security guard shot and killed Brown after Brown allegedly attempted to shoplift from the store’s Market Street location. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)

The California attorney general’s office has found that San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins did not abuse her discretion when she declined to file criminal charges against the security guard who shot and killed Banko Brown last year.

In a letter sent to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Friday, Deputy Attorney General Peter Flores Jr. said the office had focused on whether the decision not to file charges was reasonable, based on a review of the investigative materials, additional submissions by supervisors and all of the circumstances of the case.


Attorney General Rob Bonta announced his office would reexamine the case a month after the April 2023 shooting. The decision had been urged by San Francisco supervisors and celebrated by family and supporters of Brown, a 24-year-old Black transgender man who was suspected of shoplifting snacks from a Walgreens store.

Brown was unarmed at the time of his killing by Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony.

Shortly after the fatal shooting, Jenkins announced she would not file charges against Anthony, saying he acted in self-defense. Protests erupted over the decision, and city leaders called for Jenkins to release the store’s surveillance footage, which Jenkins agreed to.

The video shows Anthony confronting Brown, blocking him from exiting the store. During a quick struggle, Anthony punches Brown and takes him to the ground. As Brown gets up and walks outside, Anthony draws his weapon and shoots Brown, who falls to the ground.

Anthony later told investigators that Brown had threatened to stab him. Witnesses could not corroborate the claim. Police did not recover a knife from Brown’s bag or the scene.

KQED’s Sara Gaiser contributed to this report.

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