Banko Brown, a Black trans man, was shot dead by a security guard. His killer is facing no charges

A banner above tributes to Banko Brown that reads "Justice for Banko Brown."

San Francisco officials are facing demands for action after Banko Brown, an unarmed Black trans man, was killed outside of a Walgreens.

Brown, 24, was fatally shot by security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony on 27 April.

San Francisco Police chief Bill Scott told the press on Wednesday (4 May) that an argument broke out between the two after Brown was stopped by the 33-year-old security guard on suspicion of shoplifting.

After the argument became heated, Anthony drew his gun and fired at Brown, killing him.

District attorney Brooke Jenkins has decided not to charge Anthony with murder, citing evidence showing he “believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self-defence”.

The decision and Anthony’s release sparked widespread protests across the weekend, with citizens decrying both Brown’s killing and the DA’s subsequent ruling.

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Locals described it as “nothing short of a lynching” during a board of supervisors meeting at San Francisco’s City Hall.

“San Francisco’s current approach to public safety is not safe at all, nor is it public,” one speaker said.

“It is organised coercion, organised violence against our communities.”

Another said: “I came here upset because the fact that the DA does not want to press charges for what happened to a young Black trans youth is totally unfair.

“I bet you all 100 per cent if it was an African-American male or a Brown male or female, and it was a committed crime on camera, that s**t would have been pressed.”

Local non-profit Young Women’s Freedom Center’s co-executive director Julia Arroyo, who knew Brown, also spoke at the meeting, saying that he “wasn’t this dangerous, aggressive person.”

“When Banko came into the centre, he cried, and I remember he’d be like ‘Juju, don’t make me cry’.

“I’d be like, ‘You cry right here, [because] you can’t cry out there. You can’t always cry out there but you’re safe to cry inside of here.’

“I watched him get jobs, we hired him at the centre, I watched him give the shirt off [of] his own back, like, figuratively speaking, to be able to get resources for other folks.”

During her speech, she condemned those who were attempting to frame Brown, who reportedly helped the homeless by bringing them to the YWFC, as an aggressive person.

“I’m explaining to the mothers – the stepmother and the birth mother of Banko Brown, and the father – I’m so sorry.

“The nastiness, the narrative that they’re painting about your son. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m trying to do better by all these young people.”

Statistics collected from the Human Rights Campaign over numerous years have found that a disproportionate percentage of transgender hate crimes are against Black and brown people.

In 2022, 85 per cent of trans hate crimes were against people of colour, with 69 per cent identifying as Black.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.