Banko Brown’s family files suit against Walgreens and the security guard who shot him

Tribune Content Agency

The family of Banko Brown has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Walgreens and a security guard who fatally shot Brown in April in San Francisco.

Security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony shot and killed Brown, 24, at a Walgreens on April 27 after Anthony confronted Brown about allegedly shoplifting $14 worth of merchandise.

The shooting inspired protests and calls for Anthony to be charged with murder.

Last month, San Francisco Dist. Atty. Brooke Jenkins declined to file criminal charges against Anthony in connection with the shooting.

The district attorney’s office said Anthony acted in lawful self-defense.

After Jenkins’ decision was announced, however, John Burris, an attorney for Brown’s family, said he would be filing a wrongful death lawsuit seeking at least $25 million.

The suit, filed last week, names as defendants Walgreens, Anthony and Kingdom Group Protective Services, which employed Anthony as a guard.

“Anthony was on edge, a powder keg waiting to explode. Banko’s apparent shoplifting was the spark that set Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony off,” Burris said in a release. “Walgreens and Kingdom Protective Services ordered their security to be more aggressive, causing their unfit security guard to blow up and kill Banko over nothing.”

In the complaint, attorneys for the Brown family alleged that Anthony had been negligent in using excessive force on Brown and that Walgreens and Kingdom Protective Services were liable for Brown’s death because of their training and supervisory practices — including a policy directing security guards to confront shoplifters.

“Defendants breached their duty by failing to properly train Anthony, especially after changing their policies to permit more forceful detentions of people suspected of committing misdemeanor property crime such as shoplifting,” the attorneys wrote in the complaint.

Neither Walgreens nor Kingdom Group Protective Services immediately responded to a request for comment.