Chilling video of the killing of a San Francisco man, Banko Brown has emerged and while most are appalled, that the San Francisco District Attorney initially refused to proceed with pressing charges against the shooter, it appears that she may be having a change of heart and her mind following mounting public pressure. Brown, a 24-year-old homeless transgender man was killed by an overly zealous and aggressive security guard when he allegedly attempted to steal $15 worth of candy from a Walgreens store. The security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony apprehended Brown attempting to leave the store without paying for items he placed in a shopping bag. When Anthony confronted Brown, a homeless transgender man, the security guard exercised excessive force hitting and beating Brown to the ground, before shooting Brown as he attempted to get away from Anthony and leave the store.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins initially declined to proceed with charges against Anthony who claimed he acted in self-defense on the fatal day in April. However, being compelled to release police reports, witness accounts and video footage related to the killing of Brown. The now public video clearly shows that Anthony was the aggressor in the incident and shot Brown, an unarmed man, at point-blank range from the door of the store.
The killing of Banko Brown highlights the violence and discrimination faced by Black transgender people, particularly those who are unhoused and living in poverty. As Julia Arroyo, co-executive director of the Young Women’s Freedom Center, noted, “We proved to this Black trans young man…that he was not safe. He was not safe to go inside of that store.” It is a heavy reminder of the urgent need for structural change to address these major issues of homelessness, poverty and transphobia in the Black community.
Brown had also been a community organizer with the Young Women’s Freedom Center.