Shocking surveillance video released Monday, May 15, by the San Francisco district attorney’s office shows the moment a Walgreens security guard shot and killed an alleged shoplifter.
The footage was released to the public by District Attorney Brooke Jenkins as she defended her decision not to go forward with charges against security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony in the April 27 death of 24-year old Banko Brown.
Jenkins said Anthony was defending himself when he shot Brown at a Walgreens in downtown San Francisco.
The footage shows Anthony, a licensed guard since 2012, step in to stop Brown from leaving the store with a bag of items before Anthony began to repeatedly punch the suspected shoplifter.
After the two struggled for several seconds, Anthony then put Brown in a chokehold and forced him to the ground where the pair stayed for a few moments as customers casually walked past them.
The guard eventually let Brown up and the alleged thief picked up the bag and walked toward the door, footage shows.
Brown then turned around on his way out and appeared to make a move toward Anthony, who lifted his gun and shot Brown once.
Anthony said in a police interview he instructed Brown to put the items back and claimed Brown was the aggressor who fought to keep the items.
The security guard told police that Brown kept threatening to stab him after he told the man to calm down while the two were tussling.
Anthony said he let go of Brown, but drew his gun and pointed it at the ground in case Brown launched at him. He said he shot Brown when the suspect made a move to charge toward him, realizing when it was too late that Brown would just spit at him.
Surprisingly, Brown did not even have a knife on him but Jenkins is saying the security guard shot Bank in self-defense after being threatened with being stabbed.
Jenkins said there was nothing to rebuke Anthony’s claim of self-defense and urged residents to not only rely on the video of the shooting to form their opinion.
“There will be a temptation, as human beings, to only view the video footage of this incident and nothing else,” Jenkins said. “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 it was important for people to also review witness and police reports rather than just rely on the footage that had no sound.
Protests erupted in the streets of San Francisco on Monday, May 15 over the lack of prosecution as Brooke discharged the case.
Supervisor Shamann Walton said in a statement Banko was “executed.”
“Where is the perceived threat?” Walton said.
The non-profit organization that Brown, a trans man who struggled with homelessness, worked at also slammed Jenkins.
“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 Young Women’s Freedom Center co-executive director, in a statement Monday.
“We must live with the sobering reality that he was killed for no other cause but $14.”
Watch the video below :