A San Francisco lawmaker is proposing a law that armed security guards be prohibited from drawing their weapons to protect property after one guard shot and killed an alleged shoplifter last month.
District 5 County Supervisor Dean Preston said he was going to propose the legislation Tuesday during the Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
“I will be calling for legislation to specifically prohibit security guards from drawing their weapons to protect property,” Preston said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “Human life is more important than property. We need to change local law so that security guards cannot unholster weapons to protect property.”
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The announcement came weeks after Michael-Earl Wayne Anthony, 33, a security guard at a downtown San Francisco Walgreens, shot and killed 24-year-old Banko Brown on April 27.
Anthony was questioned by police but released. Last week, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced her office would not prosecute him.
“After careful review of all of the evidence gathered by the San Francisco Police Department in this case, my office will not be pursuing murder charges, at this time, in connection to the shooting,” she said in a statement announcing her decision.
The shooting occurred around 6:30 p.m. Responding officers found Brown with gunshot wounds. She was taken to a hospital where she died.
Protesters have called on Walgreens to eliminate security guards at its stores following the killing.
“It’s insane that Walgreens has armed security, there’s nothing in that store worth a human life, and Walgreens is not taking care of our community,” Jessica Nowlan from Young Women’s Freedom Center, told FOX San Francisco last week. “We demand an end to armed security.”
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Retailers in San Francisco and the Bay Area have closed stores amid an uptick in thefts, some of which have ended violently.
The National Retail Federation’s 2022 retail security survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the second-most hard-hit metropolitan area by theft in 2020 and 2021, behind Los Angeles.
Walgreens has closed several of its locations in the city because of a rise in retail theft.
Nordstrom recently announced the closure of both of its downtown San Francisco stores, citing the “dynamics” of the downtown market.