Home>Articles>Attorney General Rob Bonta Backs San Francisco’s Decision To Not File Charges In The 2023 Death Of Banko Brown

CA Attorney General Rob Bonta. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Attorney General Rob Bonta Backs San Francisco’s Decision To Not File Charges In The 2023 Death Of Banko Brown

State and Bonta back SF DA Jenkins’ decision

By Evan Symon, June 11, 2024 2:35 am

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Monday that the state agreed with San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ decision not to charge a security guard for shooting and killing a criminal using violence against them during a 2023 Walgreens robbery.

On the evening of April 27, 2023 at the Walgreens at Market and Fourth streets in San Francisco, 33-year-old security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony confronted 24-year-old Banko Brown for attempting to steal items from the store. According to surveillance camera footage reviewed by the DA’s office, Brown immediately became belligerent, using physical force, violence, and the threat of violence against Anthony. With his life now in mortal danger, Anthony shot Brown once with a pistol.

Police were quickly on scene, and Brown was sent to the hospital, with Anthony detained. Brown succumbed to her wounds in the days that followed. San Francisco law enforcement opened an investigation of the incident.

Following a review, District Attorney Jenkins announced in May 2023 that Anthony had acted in self defense and would not be charged. However, Jenkins’ decision brought criticism both from black and trans activists who have insisted that the shooting was not self-defense, and from Supervisors who have tried to push Jenkins to reconsider the case. Despite that, no further action was taken, and after the case was concluded last year, Brown’s family filed a wrongful death suit against Anthony and Walgreens.

CA rules in favor of SF

With the case over with and the lawsuit yet to be heard, the only other open question was what the state would do about it. California’s Bureau of Security and Investigative Services was pressured to do something about the incident due to continued protests. Of particular note was Anthony having a lack of concealed weapons permit at the time of the shooting and wearing a shirt without the needed patches on it identifying him as a security guard.

In the end, Anthony only received $1,500 in fines. However, at the request of Brown’s family, the case was picked up for review by the California Attorney General’s office. After a year in review, Bonta announced on Monday that Jenkins’ decision was in the right, as any sort of prosecution against Anthony would result in him being found to act in self-defense.

“In making crime-charging decisions, prosecutors must believe that the admissible evidence is of such convincing force that it would warrant a conviction of the crime charged by an objective fact finder beyond a reasonable doubt after hearing all of the evidence and considering the most reasonably foreseeable defenses such as self-defense,” said Bonta on Monday. “In this case, the San Francisco County District Attorneys’ Office did not believe a prosecution would result in a conviction.”

While the wrongful death suit is still active, the numerous dismissals of similar cases and the backing of the state of San Francisco’s decision on Monday means that those around Brown have few, if any, legal avenues left.

“For the last year some people in the city have been trying to defend Brown by saying they were for transgender rights and such,” former Bay Area law enforcement officer and security consultant Frank Ma said Monday. “Look at this article ABC put out, trying to prop them up as someone fighting for rights. But in the end, they were a criminal who threatened to kill someone else and claimed to have a weapon. The city and state, as liberal as they are, even found the security guard to be in the right.”

“Those supporters of Brown don’t like to hear this, but they were a violent criminal. Pure and simple. They may have fought for transgender rights, but they were also a thief and threatened to kill people and chose violence. It’s a cold dose of reality they still do not want to see for what it was.”

As of Monday evening, Brown’s supporter have yet to make a statement on Bonta’s decision.

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One thought on “Attorney General Rob Bonta Backs San Francisco’s Decision To Not File Charges In The 2023 Death Of Banko Brown

  1. If security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony had been any race other than Black, no doubt AG Rob Bonta and SF DA Jenkins would have charged him with murder and hate crimes? Justice is not color blind in California?

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