California AG to review evidence in deadly shooting of Banko Brown

After mounting calls for further review into the fatal shooting of Banko Brown, California State Attorney General Rob Bonta has agreed to look into evidence in the case that resulted in San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins' decision not to file charges against the Walgreens security guard responsible for the deadly shooting.

Bonta's office told KTVU they will review whether the D.A.'s decision to not file charges was an abuse of discretion. 

The family's attorney, John Burris, told KTVU on Tuesday that he had sent a letter last week to Bonta's office requesting a review of the evidence. 

"The Attorney General has to look at it and determine whether there was an abuse of discretion. We believe that there was, largely because there was sufficient evidence to justify prosecution," said Burris, "It's not a guarantee. There are standards the attorney general has. They make their own judgments...and they may or may not decide to do it, but ultimately they make their own independent decision." 

Family, friends and supporters of Brown learned about Bonta's decision at a rally outside San Francisco's City Hall. 

"It's gonna seem like nobody's listening. But eventually in due time somebody will hear us and somebody will give us justice," said Asia Hubbard, Brown's former partner.

Hubbard joined with family members carrying signs, photos, and writing messages of love for Brown, a 24-year-old trans man.

Brown's mother spoke about her child using Banko Brown's birth name Chynna.

"Chynna meant everything to me. Chynna was for a long time my best everything," said Kevinisha Henderson, Brown's mother, "She'd been through a lot because of my struggles...I've been in recovery five years."

Henderson shared details of the hard life Brown had faced growing up. Henderson says Brown and his twin brother Terry had been homeless in Sacramento, Vallejo, Oakland, and San Francisco since they ran away at age 13, while Henderson struggled in recovery from addiction.

She says she was close to her child and embraced Brown's trans identity.

"She was very secure in herself and who she was and I loved that the most about her," said Henderson. "I was very proud of her. I loved everything about her. Her laugh, her style of dress, her sense of humor, her love for me, her love for others. And I just hope and pray that we can get some justice."

During the rally, Henderson received a phone call from the family's attorney John Burris, who told her that the attorney general had agreed to review the evidence in the case.

"It gives me hope," said Henderson, adding she did not understand why Jenkins did not file charges after seeing surveillance video of the incident, "That video was very hard to watch and I don't understand how she doesn't see a reason to prosecute."

"The Attorney General has to look at it and determine whether there was an abuse of discretion. We believe that there was, largely because there was sufficient evidence to prosecute," said Burris. 

Last week, Jenkins announced that she would not file criminal charges in the case against the Walgreens security guard 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, because she said the evidence indicated Anthony fired in self-defense. Her decision not to do so ignited controversy, especially after the release of store surveillance video.

Anthony fatally shot Brown, 24, on April 27 just outside a Walgreens store on 4th and Market streets. The daytime shooting happened during business hours along the busy corridor.

Brown had been accused of shoplifting from the store when he got into a physical altercation with Anthony inside the store.

Store surveillance video showed the altercation and where Anthony is seen wrestling Brown to the ground.

Jenkins said during the struggle on the ground, Brown allegedly said he was going to stab Anthony.

Brown was never found in possession of a knife.

The video also shows Anthony eventually letting Brown up off the floor. Brown is then seen grabbing the bag of items that he dropped during the fight.

As Brown is walking to the door, Anthony is seen on the video upholstering his gun and pointing it at the ground. 

As Brown exited Walgreens, he is seen standing on the sidewalk outside the door, making a lunging motion towards Anthony.

That's when Anthony fires one shot hitting Brown in the chest, the video shows.

Loved ones of Brown and community activists said the video shows Brown backing away from the guard before he was shot.

"I think the security guard wasn't in no harm. He was in control of the whole situation," said Banko Brown's brother Terry Brown. 

D.A. Jenkins issued a statement on Tuesday, which read in part, "We welcome the Attorney General's review and will assist and cooperate as needed. Jenkins' statement said her office released comprehensive analysis in their report on the fatal shooting, including investigative records, witness statements and video evidence. 

As calls grew from local and state politicians for outside review in this case, Mayor London Breed was pressed for comment. After initially saying she trusted the D.A.'s handling of the investigation, she eventually said that she welcomes any outside investigations