California Attorney General’s Office weighs in on controversial no-charge decision in Banko Brown shooting

After being asked by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to reconsider District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ decision not to file charges in the April 2023 shooting of Banko Brown by a Walgreens security guard, the Attorney General’s Office of California responded with an answer: year later.

Jenkins made the controversial decision days after the shooting not to charge 33-year-old security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony. Brown was shot and killed on April 27, 2023, just outside the door of the Walgreens on Market Street near Union Square. Brown, a 24-year-old trans man, allegedly shoplifted candy and was seen on surveillance video having a physical altercation with Anthony, who ended up shooting Brown and saying he smelled that his life was in danger.

At the time, Jenkins said: “The evidence clearly shows that the suspect believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self-defense. »

In late May 2023, the California Attorney General’s Office agreed to review the evidence in the case and determine whether Jenkins made the correct charging decision. Supervisor Aaron Peskin even introduced a formal resolution urging Attorney General Rob Bonta to act, as well as the federal Department of Justice.

It’s been a full year, but the Chronicle has now obtained a letter from the attorney general’s office to the board. In it, Assistant Attorney General Peter Flores Jr. says Jenkins’ decision was justifiable — or, at least, they can’t say she “abused her discretion” in making it.

Flores said the office “carefully reviewed” all of the evidence in the case and that “based on that review and taking into account all of the circumstances, we cannot say that the San County District Attorney’s Office Francisco abused his discretion by refusing to initiate criminal proceedings. charges against security guard Michael Anthony.

Outrage was swift and loud following Brown’s shooting, particularly because it seemed so unnecessary and senseless – it happened over $14 worth of stolen candy, and Brown was reportedly frequently homeless. Additionally, although the surveillance video, released more than a week after Jenkins’ charging decision, showed a very physical and angry fight between Brown and Anthony, it did not visually resemble a fair fight – Anthony was fine. bigger than Brown and Anthony. easily knocked him to the ground when the fight started.

When Anthony spoke with investigators, he indicated that Brown was verbally threatening to kill him and that he could not be sure that Brown was unarmed.

The case also sparked surprise that a Walgreens security guard was allegedly armed with a deadly weapon.

The case resulted in legislation introduced last fall by Supervisor Dean Preston that would prohibit a security guard from drawing a weapon in San Francisco to protect property.

A civil case brought by Brown’s family is ongoing,

Previously: Video of Banko Brown shooting released as prosecutor Jenkins announces final decision not to press charges against security guard