SAN FRANCISCO - Friends and family of Banko Brown, along with community activists and attorneys, expressed outrage Tuesday evening over surveillance video released by the San Francisco District Attorney that shows Brown being shot and killed by a Walgreens security guard.
DA Brooke Jenkins said she is not prosecuting the security guard because it could be argued that he shot Brown out of self-defense – although the video showed Brown outside of the store, without a weapon, at the time he was shot.
At a memorial balloon launching outside the shuttered Walgreens store on Market Street, Terry Brown wrote a message in memory of his brother, Banko Brown, joining others in releasing balloons into the sky. Terry Brown says he disagrees with the District Attorney's assessment that the guard acted in self-defense.
"I think the security guard wasn't in no harm. He was in control of the whole situation," Terry Brown said.
Others also spoke out, saying they believe the surveillance video of the scuffle and shooting shows Banko Brown backing away from the guard before he was shot.
"That person wanted to get out of the store. That person wanted to go. That person dropped the stuff and left," said Juju Pikes-Prince, a friend of Banko.
Banko's friend, Juju Pikes-Prince, says it was painful for her to watch her friend being shot.
"I watched the whole thing and I had to watch it twice because I couldn't watch the first time. So it seemed like someone trying to get away from the issue," said Pikes-Prince.
Pikes-Prince joined a panel at a town hall hosted by the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club in the Mission District.
A panel including Black trans men, attorneys and activists led by Honey Mahogany said they are outraged the DA has said there's not enough evidence to press charges after seeing the video.
"I cannot believe the place where I got my COVID booster, someone got shot. A security guard shot a kid," said Jeffrey Kwong, President of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club.
"It's pretty shocking to be honest," said Peter Calloway, an attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender's office, who says he was participating in the panel but did not speak for the office.
Calloway says he does not agree with Jenkins' legal assessment that the guard acted in self-defense.
"Did he have to shoot Banko Brown? And if they answer no than it's not legal self-defense," said Calloway. "The force used has to be reasonable and necessary to prevent the imminent risk of death or great bodily injury."
Some said along with the legal questions, the loss of Brown, a young, Black trans man, also points to the pain felt by trans men in the city and the need for more understanding and support across the community.
"We are a group of people that is not seen," said Xavier Davenport, co-founder of the Oakland Trans March, who was on the panel.
"This city needs trainings around Black trans people and how to serve them. Hell, the city needs training in how to serve Black people period," said Socorro Cori Moreland, founder of Brotherhood510 who was also on the panel.
Family members say they will hold another protest Wednesday at 10 a.m. in front of the District Attorney's office.