We figured there would be a lawsuit coming when the family of Banko Brown hired famed civil rights attorney John Burris over Brown’s fatal Walgreens shooting in late April, and that lawsuit is now here.
SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins set off a storm of protests when she announced she would not file charges against the security guard who shot and killed 24-year-old Banko Brown after an alleged shoplifting incident on April 27. But California attorney general Rob Bonta said he would step in and review the case earlier this week. And when Brown’s family hired well-known civil rights attorney John Burris, we figured there would be a civil case coming, but we wondered whether Burris would suing Walgreens, the private security firm Kingdom Group Protective Services (with whom Walgreens has since cut ties), or the individual security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony.
Turns out Burris will be suing all three. KRON4 reports that Burris has announced a lawsuit against Walgreens, Kingdom Group, and Anthony, arguing that Anthony should not have been armed, and was “emotionally unsuited” for the job.
“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 statement to KRON4. “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.”
According to video of the incident, Brown can be seen attempting to exit the Walgreens with a bag of items. Anthony blocks at the exit door, the two scuffle, and Anthony puts Brown in a choke hold and wrestles him to the ground. Anthony lets Brown get up to leave the premises, which Brown does but grabs his bag, and Anthony draws his weapon and fires when Brown has just left the store. Anthony claims Brown threatened to stab him, but there is no audio in the video to confirm this.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Brown’s parents Kevinisha Henderson and Terry Brown, which suggests some unity between the two, after a fracas at Brown’s funeral Thursday indicated there may be some family tension
Update: Mission Local reports that Brown's family is asking for "no less than" $25 million in damages. Though we’re likely to know more after a 1 p.m. press conference Friday at Burris’ law office in Oakland.
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist