State Sen. Scott Wiener on Sunday called for the public release of information surrounding the death of Banko Brown, a Black and transgender man who was shot and killed by a security guard stationed at a San Francisco Walgreens on April 27.
The guard, Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, tried to stop Brown for allegedly shoplifting and an altercation ensued ahead of the shooting, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said. Police arrested and booked Anthony on suspicion of murder April 28, but he was released from jail on Monday after prosecutors declined to charge him.
“This shooting has caused profound and growing concern in the community, particularly among Black and transgender San Franciscans,” Wiener said in his statement, which he posted on Twitter.
Wiener said that the stream of new details released about Brown’s death raised “significant public doubt” about Anthony's self-defense claims.
SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins cited the self-defense claims in her initial decision not to pursue murder charges against Anthony.
But Jenkins told the Bay Area Reporter Thursday that there is “still an ongoing investigation” into Brown’s killing. SF police are allegedly investigating the case, which Jenkins says is the reason why no other additional information has been released publicly.
"While we opted not to charge this case earlier this week when we discharged it, we asked SFPD to conduct further investigation," Jenkins told the Reporter. "It's still an ongoing investigation, still an open case, so I'm not yet at the point [when] I can publicly reveal all of the facts."
Wiener’s request adds to the chorus of politicians, activists and community members demanding greater transparency surrounding Brown’s killing. Brown was a volunteer organizer at a nonprofit called the Young Women’s Freedom Center, which advocates for transgender youth and young women.
Local lawmakers listened to two hours of community testimony about Brown’s killing at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday evening. Speakers repeatedly expressed outrage over Brown’s death, saying his killing over an alleged petty theft exemplified continuing inequality and maltreatment of people of color.
Demonstrations over Brown's killing continued on Sunday as numerous protestors carrying signs gathered in Downtown SF outside of Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, according to videos posted on social media.
Sunday's protest appears to have caused "rolling delays" to inbound Muni transit passing through Market Street, according to an SF Municipal Transportation Agency announcement posted on Twitter at 2:28 p.m. The Muni disruption was cleared by 3:12 p.m., SFMTA tweeted.
“There’s enormous pain in the community around the shooting of Banko Brown,” Wiener tweeted Sunday morning. “It’s time to release the video & other information about this horrific shooting.”
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org