Armed robbery suspect pleads not guilty

Damon Banks

Updated 2/7/2013: Charges against Damon Banks and Lee McQuilkin were dismissed on Feb. 7, 2013. Read more here.

LANCASTER – A 27-year-old man previously profiled on the Lancaster Station’s Most Wanted list, for allegedly robbing three fast food restaurants at gunpoint, appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom Thursday morning.

Damon Deshaun Banks pleaded not guilty to five counts of armed robbery and was ordered back to custody on $300,000 bail.

Banks and 27-year-old Lee Vance McQuilkin are accused of robbing Little Caesars, Wienerschnitzel and Subway, between 7 and 9 p.m., on Sunday, June 10. In each case, two men walked into the restaurant, held the employees at gunpoint, demanded money from the register and then escaped on foot, sheriff’s officials said.

Family members Thursday insisted Banks had nothing to do with the robberies because he was not in Lancaster when the crimes occurred.

“He has no gang ties, he finished college and he’s not from the ‘hood’, he’s from Lakewood, California…” said Banks’ mother Cecilia Duckworth. “You have a 27-year-old man with a job who has never had any kind of criminal doings, and all of a sudden he’s gonna go out and rob these places? For what, $50? It doesn’t even make sense!”

Duckworth said her son’s ties to the Antelope Valley include a grandmother who moved to Lancaster about three years ago.

“We had been getting calls that his grandmother, his father’s mother, was very ill,” Duckworth said, adding that Banks’ father died in 1992.

Banks went to Lancaster on June 9 to attend a Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight party and to see his grandmother, Duckworth said. But the party ended too late for him to see his grandmother that night, she added.

“He said ‘instead of waking up granny, I just got me a room at Motel 8,’” Duckworth said.

She said Banks’ grandmother worried when he didn’t show up on June 9.

“She was concerned when Damon didn’t come over Saturday because there had been a bad accident on the 14 Freeway, but I told her he called, so I know he’s okay,” Duckworth said.

She said Banks ate at Subway Sunday morning (June 10) and headed to grandma’s afterward. Duckworth said she was concerned about her son’s drive home, so she checked on him several times to make sure he was okay.

“I said ‘I know you’re tired because you stayed up late at the fight party, but be careful on that 14 Freeway,’” Duckworth said. “Around five o’clock I called him, and he said ‘I’m alright, I’m getting ready to get on the 105.’”

Banks was back in Lakewood before sundown on June 10, said his fiancée Alera Sugges.

“It was still daylight outside so it couldn’t be any later than like six o’ clock,” Sugges said.

On June 22, Banks was charged with five counts of armed robbery in connection with the June 10 robberies; and a $300,000 felony warrant for his arrest was issued on June 25, according to court records.

Banks and McQuilkin were classified as “armed and dangerous” and placed on a Most Wanted list, which was circulated to the local media on June 25. The men were identified as suspects in the robberies through a combination of “surveillance video and good old police work,” according to Lancaster Station spokesman Michael Rust.

“We actually thought it was a joke at first,” Sugges said. “Then someone sent us the link to the article and we saw his picture.”

Banks’ driver’s license photo was circulated through the local media on June 25.

“That is the picture for his driver’s license, that’s not a mug shot,” said Duckworth, referring to the photo of Banks’ that ran in the media. She said she cried when she got the news, but her son assured her that it was a misunderstanding and he would turn himself in and clear his name.

Banks and his fiancée drove to the Lancaster Station on July 3 to speak with detectives.

“We thought he would go in, give them his information, and let them know that he’s gainfully employed and he has no reason to rob anyone,” Sugges said. “We thought they would let him go when they realized they made a mistake and identified the wrong person.”

Banks was jailed instead. At Thursday’s court hearing, bail was set at $300,000.

“We don’t have $30,000 sitting in the bank,” said Duckworth. “But in the last seven hours, we have rallied to raise more than $9,000 because there are so many people who believe in his innocence.”

Duckworth said she fears her son may not get a fair trial, so she has took on the burden of proving her son’s innocence. In doing so, she said she has read several news reports on recent robberies in the Antelope Valley that were committed by two Black males.

“[During] every single one of those other robberies Damon was at work,” she said, adding that her son works a graveyard shift in Cerritos. “I got a copy of the times he clocked in and I got a copy of the times he clocked out.”

Duckworth said she also combed through her son’s social media accounts for anything linking Banks to McQuilkin, his alleged accomplice.

“I looked at every single [facebook]friend that he had, over 400 friends,” she said. “I looked at every single friend’s friend and that individual is not in any of the pictures I looked at because he didn’t know that individual. What strangers would rob places together?”

Both Sugges and Duckworth said they have not been contacted by law enforcement or anyone else concerning the case.

“I would like to cooperate with the district attorney in order for them to confirm his whereabouts,” said Sugges. “I’m willing to submit to a polygraph and whatever they need to ensure that they do a complete investigation.”

“I’m a registered nurse with a Masters’ Degree, my children were brought up in an affluent area and they are educated,” said Duckworth. “That should have nothing to do with it, but at least it puts a hole in the stereotype.”

Banks’ preliminary hearing is set for July 17.

*A County court records search for a criminal history on Damon Banks revealed three convictions for traffic offenses – driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher in 2010, driving with unlawfully tinted windows in 2007, and making an unsafe turn in 2006. There were no other convictions in Banks’ history, according to the court records.

  100 comments for “Armed robbery suspect pleads not guilty

  1. February 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Tomorrow, February 8th, these two young men, Damon Banks and Lee McQuilken will be having their charges dismissed by the District Attorneys Office. Its interesting to see due justice being served again!!! Congrats to Damon and Lee for maintaining their innocence and not falling prey to pressure and plea deals!!!

  2. really
    July 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    A word to those who say this young man is innocent; if he is truly innocent the best thing you can do is show all of us your proof he is innocent. If you produce compelling evidence the community would join you in calling for his release. Simply coming on this site and ranting about his innocence and the corruption of the local sheriffs. When you do this you marginalize yourselfs into an arena where only people who cling to that same ideology will support you. If your unwilling to present your evidence to the public then you should come to the realization he will be in jail until this is taken to trial.

    • richy
      July 11, 2012 at 12:53 am

      The proof is in itself, he was not in Lancaster at the time of these robberies. Maybe your community can come together and ask your own law enforcement agency to show you guys evidence that this man committed a crime in your city. That would actually help this kid because as of now there seems to be no evidence, he is away from his children and missing work sitting amongst actual criminals for no reason at all. Where are the witnesses? These business employees whom were on duty at the times these robberies took place? Where is the surveillance that these detectives said they had in June 25ths article. I don’t know the Guy but something tells me he’s innocent. I’ve been paying close attention to this case and I think its time we all put away with childlike comments and realized there may be truth behind this families rants.

      • Letlow
        July 11, 2012 at 1:31 am

        I feel your anguish regarding Damon Banks, but it’s unlikely that you will get law enforcement to show you any evidence to prove that Damon robbed those stores. Any proof they give you could jeopardize their case. And their number one priority is proving that Damon robbed those stores.

        Since the DA already filed charges, the case is out of the Lancaster sheriffs hands anyway.

        You’ve got to make it your number one priority to prove that Damon DIDN’T rob those stores. Take your proof to Damon’s defense attorney, and perhaps he/she can quash this case at the preliminary hearing or even before. Whatever you do, DO NOT take your proof to the DA or even to law enforcement. Your proof can be twisted and turned against you. When you show your hand, the DA knows how to strike it down in court. Best that he doesn’t see you coming.

        Either way you may have to hunker down until the preliminary hearing.

        • SMH
          July 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

          Thank you LetLow…

      • really
        July 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

        The law has no mandate to try the case in public. They dont have to tell anyone other than a judge what evidence they have at this point. The family has no requirement to do this either, my comment was made because if this young man is innocent and they want justice to be swift, there best option is to show compelling evidence to the public so we can stand with the family and demand the charges be dropped. On another note you say you dont know the guy but you believe his family is being truthful, thats naive and shows your own personal bias is keeping you from looking at facts and making an educated conclusion.

    • Gladys
      February 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

      If I read your remark correctly, you say an accused person is guilty untill he proves his innocense? Isn’t that backwards? You must work for the City. lol

  3. M.Ford
    July 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    solve crimes, convict the guilty and exonerate the wrongfully accused.

  4. Milan
    July 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Being that Damon is a victim of false imprisonment and his name being publicly slandered, this information was sent from an unknown source. So to those watching this site and knows for a FACT he is INNOCENT, he has rights that you are breaking. We are not sitting back living life as if this is not happening to our family, we are all victims and we are all affected. We dont know the status of anything, we have NOT been treated with fairness nor dignity. Come on now, just remeber NO ONE is above the law. Lancaster your just bringing too much NEGATIVE WRONGFUL ATTENTION to your district.

    Victims’ Rights in California

    Victims of crime have several constitutional and statutory rights. A “victim” is any person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological or financial harm as a direct result of a crime. “Victim” also refers to the actual victim’s family and next of kin. Among the rights that victims have are:

    To be treated with fairness and dignity*************
    To be reasonably protected from the defendant
    To prevent disclosure of confidential information
    To know the current status of your court case**********************
    To be assisted if called as a witness
    To attend all court proceedings
    To make a victim impact statement at sentencing
    To have the court order restitution for your crime related losses
    To be informed of all parole proceedings

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      HAHAHA, false imprisonment and publicly slandered, keep going you are hilarious Milan!

  5. July 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Information I am providing comes direct from Justice System Integrity Division
    Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office…

    Damon is innocent and these officers lack HONESTY and CREDIBILITY, and they know it. Do they really think they can get away with this?

  6. July 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Criminal Misconduct Among Law Enforcement Officers

    Peace officers are critical to public safety and perform an important role in the justice system. It is crucial that their conduct – especially when it involves allegations of abuse – be carefully reviewed, both by their agency and the District Attorney’s Office.

    JSID is responsible for investigating and prosecuting any allegation of criminal misconduct committed by a peace officer as defined by Penal Code Section 830.1 et seq. This pertains to crimes committed while either on or off duty. Parole and probation officers also come within the scope of this policy.

    Police Misconduct Referral Protocols

    To ensure that allegations of criminal misconduct are appropriately investigated and prosecuted, the District Attorney has established clear guidelines for their referral:

  7. Milan
    July 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    No one is above the law, especially those who are sworn to uphold it. Those who are charged with enforcing the laws of the State of California must themselves scrupulously obey the law. They must lead by example, and that example must be based on principles of honesty, integrity, credibility and accountability.

    When judges, attorneys, police officers, and others working in the justice system break the law, they must be held accountable for their actions. The District Attorney created the Justice System Integrity Division (JSID), a team of highly experienced prosecutors and investigators, to ensure just that. JSID – with enhanced cooperation from local and federal agencies – provides the resources to detect, investigate, and prosecute criminal misconduct among those sworn to uphold the law.

    By doing so, JSID deters criminal wrongdoing and helps raise confidence in law enforcement, the courts, and the justice system in general.

  8. Milan
    July 10, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I seriously find myself going crazy thinking about how he is in jail…for some crap he doesnt even have the mind set to do. I can only imagine the knot in his throat, the tears that possibly wells up, the frustration, the question, the lack of wanting to do anything but sleep, i can imagine what he is feeling for I too as a free woman has these exact feelings everyday that he has been in some dirty jail wearing some washed and reused jumpsuit, sharing an unsanitized toilet with people whom he doesnt know or would ever coexist with. What will it take for these police and DA to release Damon back to his family and life. This is freaking crazy, all the robberies in Lancaster, Palmdale all have surveillance photos, well sheesh where is the supposed surveillance of DAMON BANKS. My God have mercy on the soul of whomever made this error yet still has not come forward to say “yes, we have the wrong man”. This man has a family, he has children who misses him, work to be completed, everyday counts that he is away. You cant get back time that is lost. This can very well be your brother, your son, your dad…

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      He doesn’t have the “mind set” to commit these crimes? Says who – you? And who exactly are you to know the defendant’s mind?

  9. RickDee
    July 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I cant believe he is still in custody… Lancaster Detectives please be aware that this family cares less about the consequences that COULD be placed upon you, they just want this guy home.

  10. sean riot
    July 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    some will say that that Damon banks has only been jailed a few days,so when the mistake is realized by the “persecution” office Damon will go free and all is well. No! here is something to ponder.If you speed then you earn,a ticket. After recieving the ticket ,you can rationalize that if you would have driven the speed limit you would to avoided the ticket. in this situation damon bank has been deprived of freedom, stripped away from his family, and classified as a criminal by the lancaster sheriff department. Damon is unable to hold his children, attend work , nor is he able to enjoy the simple liberties that we take for granted. he is suffering consequences for something he didn’t have anything to do with. what’s worse is going over the whole day in his mind and not being able to come up with a single thing that could have been done differently to avoid being where he is. if that concept is not enough to drive a person………… insane

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Go tell the Messiah aka Black Jesus, Obama

  11. MsBeck
    July 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I had to comment on this clearly seeing yall mutha[removed] don’t know [removed] and considering i have been friends with Alera Sugges and Damon Banks for years!!!! what person robs 3 wack ass restaurants and has a job making a great amount of money??? i laugh at this story and i cant wait until his innocence is proven by all the evidence that his mother and fiance have :)

    • really
      July 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Your personal testimony as to their character doesnt mean much when you curse and paint yoursel as uneducated!!!

      • Hmm
        July 9, 2012 at 7:23 am

        I agree with you, I think a 2nd grader could have done a better job writing.

        • Letlow
          July 9, 2012 at 8:17 am

          It’s called emotions people!! You try pecking out a post in a high state of emotions and let’s see how your writing will be.

          Perhaps you are emotionally bankrupt? Who knows?

          But when you read an obviously emotionally post like that and the only thing you can do is pick apart grammar, I think the problem is you, not the young lady.

          This site is not for writing Pulitzer prize essays,it’s for expressing your emotions to certain stories. People who express their emotions don’t expect to get their posts ripped apart by self-appointed grammar police…
          pathetic, I swear!!!

          • The Ugly Truth
            July 9, 2012 at 8:28 am

            So now we’re excusing an “emotionally charged” rant because it was written by a “Sista” ?????

            What about all of those angry rants from people fed up with crime and Section 8 abuse? Were they not “emotional” too? Were they not expressing anger and sadness and what has become of their once-safe community?

            Your motto seems to be: “One standard for black people. Another for everyone else.”

          • Letlow
            July 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

            WHERE in the post does it say the young lady is a “Sista” or black?

            Tell us, Mr/Ms Ugly, why did you automatically assume this young lady is black? What does that say about YOU???

            FYI: My response would have been the same, regardless of the race of the young lady. ONE STANDARD for EVERYONE. Can you say the same?

          • Hmm
            July 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

            Then I guess these posters must be very emotional all the time due to the many grammar errors.

    • FUNNY
      July 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      MsBeck Just want to know what is a Mutha ,and what is a wack ass ,can you give me the definition

  12. Letlow
    July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    @ “is anyone surprised?”

    Actually, the Antelope Valley Stations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is under investigation by the United States Department of Justice. This is not some rinky dink investigation by “black groups stirring the pot” as you so eloquently put it. It’s a FEDERAL INVESTIGATION!

    So it seem Tootsie has much more of a clue than you. Why don’t you read all about the investigation. I’ve even provided the GOVERNMENT link for you. I think you should apologize to Tootsie for your condescending (and clueless) remarks…

    • NoneYa Damn Business
      July 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Its a federal investigation being done because black people whined and cried about alleged “racism” when it was their own Section 8 fraud and crime rates that brought down the heavy hand of the Sheriffs Department in the first place. That case, by the way, is falling apart fast and it is making the black groups look really bad. I have inside information.

      • Letlow
        July 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        Puleeze… Blacks have whined and cried about alleged racism across the country for DECADES. You tell me how many times the Feds have swooped in with an investigation, since you have so much “inside information.”

        Last I checked this case was VERY MUCH in full swing. In fact, Lancaster Station Capt. Jonsen is announcing a Citizen’s Commission Tuesday BECAUSE of the pressures from this investigation. Capt. Jonsen is also implementing many other good faith changes BECAUSE of the investigation. Don’t take my word for it. Ask the Captain yourself, you know he has an open door policy right?

        I’ll believe the case has fell apart when I hear the FACTS from the Feds themselves. Certainly not from someone named “NoneYa Damn Business.” LOL! You are a joke!

        • The Ugly Truth
          July 9, 2012 at 8:10 am

          In a post under another article, you basically said that you were “one of us” hardworking, taxpaying, law abiding citizens and that you just wanted to live peacefully in a crime-free setting like we do.

          Now to look at your post above, you can hardly contain your glee in knowing that the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale are being investigated by the Justice Department over bogus charges brought by black special interest groups who are barely more than apologists for the criminal element in this town.

          So which is it? Do you truly support a crackdown on crime and all that entails (Section 8 inspections, heavy police presence, etc.) or is that just a facade to temporarily legitimize yourself when its convenient?

          Judging from what you have posted under various articles you seem very two-faced to me.

          You are either serious about crime and cracking down on it, even if it means that more black people are those being cracked down on, or you are merely lying and paying lip service to a crackdown when its convenient but you secretly believe a crackdown would be bad for your black community. Which is it?

          • Letlow
            July 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

            Make no mistake, I am truly in support of a crackdown on crime. I am NOT in support of BREAKING THE LAW to crackdown on crime (if that is in fact the case).

            The fact is, I don’t know if the AV Sheriff’s were unlawful in their Sec 8 inspections, and neither do you (unless you were there). If you were not there, how can you knowledgeably call the charges “bogus”?

            I am not going to swallow media propaganda hook, line and sinker, which tells me that as a hardworking citizen, I should support breaking down the doors of people just because they are on government assistance (if that is the case, again, I don’t know).

            I also don’t believe Sec 8 people are responsible for all the crime in the Antelope Valley. Everyone screams it, but I haven’t seen any statistics to back it up. If given this information, of course I will be singing a different tune. But until then, I give the benefit of the doubt.

            Also, I know enough about federal investigations to know that they are not instigated by small community groups in obscure parts of LA County. Therefore, if the Fed are here, then I venture to believe it’s because they have a damn good reason.

            There is NO GLEE in a Federal Investigation. It is embarrassing for the Sheriffs Dept and embarrassing for the Antelope Valley. If you got glee from my post, then you obviously misinterpret me.

            The glee you discerned was probably my glee in setting straight another callous, condescending poster bent on putting down others. I am the one who stands up to the bully on the playground for the guy who can’t stand up for himself.

            And when I see people on this site putting down and demeaning others through words I react.

            And just so you know, I don’t believe it is MY black community any more than I believe it is YOUR white community (or whatever race you are). I believe it is OUR Antelope Valley community.

          • Faith
            July 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

            Letlow, thank you for your intelligent responses. They are well written and communicated.

          • Letlow
            July 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

            You are welcome.

            Despite what you read here, many of us AV residents still believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

            I don’t know Damon or his story, but I believe he should be given a fair shot. I also believe he is truly loved by his friends and family, as you have proven here.

  13. Alex
    July 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    His fiancée, Alera Sugges is lying. She said: “It was still daylight outside so it couldn’t be any later than like six o’ clock.”

    Nature clearly didn’t figure into her bullshit alibi and lie, here is how I can tell she is lying and fabricating her story. She implied that after 1800 hours it is dark, which is not true during the summer in Southern California. In fact there is enough light to visibly see past 2000 hours.

    The Sunset for June 9th and 10th is 8:04 PM for LA and the surrounding areas.

    So one alibi knocked down and one obvious liar found. I hope she told the detectives that lie so they know to take her out as someone to be trusted.

    • Letlow
      July 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Really, Mr. Really??

      You are really grasping at straws now. What is she LYING about? She is guestimating times based on it being daylight outside.

      She is also giving a simple interview, she is not under oath and being cross examined. I see nothing wrong with her statement saying “it was still daylight so it couldn’t be any later than LIKE six o’clock…”

      The operative word here is ‘LIKE’ which tells me she is GUESSING the time based on it being light outside when Damon came home. It’s not like she CLOCKED him in thinking “maybe I might need to know the EXACT time my fiance is coming home to give him an iron clad alibi…”

      The point she is making is, Damon made it home before sundown. So even if sunset for June 10 was 8:04 and she was off by two hours because she ESTIMATED sunset was at 6 p.m., so what!

      That means he was BACK HOME, two hours away, at 8:04 p.m., which means he COULDN’T have been in Lancaster committed THREE armed robberies between 7 and 9 p.m.

      Sheesh… let’s hope you are not on the jury!

      • really
        July 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        Not my post Sir…..

        • Letlow
          July 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

          You’re right. Apologies… My rant was directed towards ALEX then.

          • Alex
            July 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

            It’s LIKE a totally bullshit story.

          • sean riot
            July 10, 2012 at 1:45 am

            Wow. Alex You really have an issue admitting when you are wrong. Your respnses also implies you may have a reading comprehension issue.Letlow provided you with the “hooked on phonics” version of Ms. Sugges comment and you are still not grasping .You read the article and keyed in on one insignificant portion of her statement in an effort to boost your theory that she is lying.are you one of the detectives on this case? if so, now we all know how damo. Ban

          • sean riot
            July 10, 2012 at 1:48 am

            Damon banks became a part of this predicament. Free Damon Banks.

  14. Greta
    July 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    That Damon Banks is one handsome dude! Hope everything works out for him.

  15. Missy
    July 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    wonder why the fight was more important than going to see granny, like he said he was going to.. maybe he met the other guy at the fight, and they decided they needed a little they put on their thug faces and go out and rob a couple places.. sorry, but this guy sounds too good to be true.. if he was indeed at work, the LASD or DA could have gotten that info right away.. too many people are coming from those wonderful “down below” cities like compton or L.A. and commiting these crimes and a big portion of them are minorities..fact! like it or not..

    • Steven McQueen
      July 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      You are a bigot to the bone and who gives a [removed] what you think. You support those cops because they are like you bigots. The reason they get away with it is because the public defender and DA work together. And by the way who said the man was at work???? Sounds like a snitch in the police department who has got his facts wrong!!!
      Missy maybe you’re a cop UMMMMMMMMM……… opps!

      • John Doe
        July 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm

        You all need to shut the hell up and go watch Wet oh wait I mean Bet cuz if Wet was on TV it would be racist, right?

      • Alex
        July 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

        His friends and family have been tossing around multiple stories, at least when it first went down. Friends said he was with them, family said he was with them, other family members say he was at work. So it’s good to see after the shit hit already hit the fan you guys are trying to get a cohesive story line going for your boy.

      • Missy
        July 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

        READ the comments again by his family member in the article! it says he was at work during the time of the robberies…..and, yeah, it’s all a big conspiracy…lol

        • Letlow
          July 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

          Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it?

          The family member’s comment in the article says he was at work during the times of PREVIOUS robberies in the AV, not the three robberies on June 10 – which are the ones he are being charged with. Please read and understand before you start jumping in line to condemn others. It only makes you look foolish!

        • Alex
          July 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

          “It was still daylight outside so it couldn’t be any later than like six o’ clock,” Sugges said.

          I can tell she is full of shit:

          Sunset for June 9th and 10th is 8:04 PM for LA and the surrounding areas.

    • Concered
      July 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      People, even more family, lie to cover an alibi for someone…..that’s a first!! The cops are racists, or bigots, you’re acting like the ones that are by stereo typing them all! I have been on 4 ride alongs, they will tell you first hand it’s generally the blacks are that are up to no good. How can they not form some type of onion over time? It’s human nature to do so. Yes, some cops do have racial issues, but it’s unfair to group them all. It’s those racists and bigots that stand the line of you being safe, or getting robbed and raped!

  16. Faith
    July 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    You never fully cherish the people God blessed you with until the possibility of them never being in your grasp again becomes…a possibility. To know my brother is innocent is eating me alive, its not easy to sit around and act like life is good when someone whom I’ve bathed with, ate with, cried with, prayed with, fought with, laughed with, and shared every day of my 25 years with is in someones cell, freedom snatched, forced to deal with whatever comes his way, hurting because he’s enduring this for a crime he did not commit. I laugh to fight from crying, I sleep to dream of him being here with me, i hurt at the thought that my protector is not here to protect me from my own pain, I’ve never knew how much I needed my brother to pick me up until this fall. I serve a great merciful God whom I have complete FAITH and TRUST in, and I pray that this is all over sooner then later. My heart tells me that God allowed this to happen to him just so the world can see exactly how serious it is to not pass judgement on his children because of their race, ethnicity nor color, but to find guilt in actual doings. So many people are imprisoned off of mistaken identity or being in a place where their kind is not wanted. Just maybe Damon will be the poster boy for other men of all races who has also been a victim of racial profiling and false imprisonment. He is innocent and i will cross oceans move mountains all while calling on my GOD to set him free.

    • really
      July 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Faith, I imagine you are in pain and I can sympathize with you in that respect, however gimme a flippin break!!! I dont know if your brother did this or not. The criminal justice system will work and justice ( whatever that looks like will be served) But for you to speak on racial profiling in relation to this event shows you have a chip on your shoulder!!! Did the surveillance camera decide to darken its picture to show a black man? I suppose the cops should have arrested a white man even though black men were suspects!!! And are we supposed to believe that our white devil deputies just put their hand in the black man jar and drew your brothers name.. Are we supposed to ignore the fact that your brother stays in Lakewood but miraculously he was in the AV the night in question and the evil deputies new that and decided to pin this on him? Now with that being said maybe its not clean cut and maybe your brother is innocent, only time will tell… In the meantime until you have facts that this arrest is false and racially motivated do your brother a favor and put your race card away!!!

      • Steven McQueen
        July 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        What surveillance cameras are to talking about dumb ass. No surveillance footage has been released of the June 10th robberies ike with all the other robberies. Why? This is silly why is it so hard for you to accept this is a mistake. I guess the police are always right. Look at all the comments posted pass and present, you people hate blacks. as nice and kind and maybe even a proclaimed christian there is hate in your hearts. Why should I assume your police force feels differently. If the same effort is not put in gaining all the facts for a black man compared to a white man than it is about race. I’m sick of you good ole white folks. No wonder the av police are being investigated.

        • really
          July 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

          And im a racist, save it dude!!! The article says the two men were identified through surveillance… Ignorrant fool! I never mentioned race until people in your camp said he is innocent and he is being charged due to race!!!! I ask a few questions and im a racist but you can call every white person in the av as well as cops bigots…. It must be hard being such an idiot.. I was clear to say I dont know if he did it or not… you on the other hand hear black man says hes innocent so you believe it without any corroboration… you are the racist!!! Thats the problem with people like you, you cant look at facts objectively… You remind me of the chappelle show skit where he is on a jury…. If this town is so racist why do you live here? You uninformed ignorrant race baiting schill!!!

        • Delron
          August 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

          Who you calling “you people”, Steve McQueen???

      • Faith
        July 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        I speak on racial profiling because it is very common in Lancaster. If you all do a thorough search yourself of prior robberies (since obviously this site is one of your favorite) there is surveillance for them all, but why not of these robberies my brother supposedly commited?? Please share ?? Yes he is my brother and i will ride for him till the wheels fall off, but i would not be sitting here so very disturbed and disgusted if he commited this crime. Every man & woman of whatever race should own up to their wrong doings and take the consequence, my honest opinon, BUT in THIS case Damon is INNOCENT. I come from a strong ambitious and dedicated family hun, and believe me we are NOT going to shame ourselves by advocating for ANYONE whom commited a crime as serious as this, FAMILY OR NOT, but again I say DAMON BANKS is INNOCENT. They might as well release him now to save themselves.

    • Missy
      July 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      so tired of all blacks whining about being victims of racial profiling..all the supposed family letters here are spewing the race thing.. as much as anyone else… boohoo, get over it and move on..if you people are so educated and intelligent and pillars of society, then you should be able to move on and put the “poor me” saga behind you..

      • Letlow
        July 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

        I would like to see you “get over it” and “move on” if one of your family members were locked up for a crime, and you believed your family member to be innocent!

        The fact that you could be so flippant about something so serious says a lot about you. When this saga is over, this family may be able to put this all behind them, but unfortunately, you will still remained locked up in a mindset of stupidity, prejudice and ignorance.

        Perhaps it is YOU who should be crying a boohoo, poor me saga then. Let me just log off now, before you ignorant fools make me break my laptop. I SWEAR!!!!

        • Alex
          July 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

          The Japanese Americans have set a great example, so have the Germanic Americans. During WW2, the Japanese Americans were interned, lost their business, lost their homes, but they rebuilt and became pillars of society, assimilated while still retaining their best of their culture that fit in with American laws and regulations. German Americans faced many bad things during ww1 and ww2, they had their towns names changed, were afraid to use their native language, etc.

          Sikh Americans face much persecution for their beliefs and what ignorant people believe are their, false, similarities to other religions and cultures. However, I do not see tons of ridiculous parades, riots, etc from those cultures. So tell me, what makes you so god damn special?

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Tell it to the judge, Eric Holder, Obama…

  17. Alex
    July 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I wish the family would stop kissing his ass, that is what is wrong with society today, instead of having faith in the system, getting information to prove his innocence, etc they decide to bitch and cry how they got the wrong man.

    I grew up in a society where your neighbors would snitch on you if you were a thief and what not. It seems in certain subcultures of American society people are afraid to snitch on their own. That is the problem. Someone knows who did the armed robbery. Maybe you guys should put together a monetary fund to catch the real criminal. $5000 gets lips moving.

  18. really
    July 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Wow, are we all that naive? Just because family members say what a great guy he is, he must be innocent…. I have no idea if the guy is guilty or not. But there has to be a reason he was id’d! You need probable cause to arrest, they must have had that. How would they pick this guy who was only up here to visit his sick granny? They picked him somehow… If he was at work during the rest of the time it is easy to prove. I love that people will acquit someone simply based on a sympathetic news story! To his family members posting here, you should be doing the leg work to prove his innocence not trying to win in the court of public opinion!

    • tokyo
      July 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Trust and believe that the family of Banks has been doing there foot work from the day he was booked. The sad fact that some of you people are so bias and racist makes my blood boil. Bottom line, let Damon go and let’s find the real criminal.

      • really
        July 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

        Tokyo, I clearly stated I have no idea if he is innocent or guilty, however there must be some evidence to implicate him. I think you do yourselves a diservice by simply stating he was a nice guy and he didnt do it so let him go… there is something called a legal process… If he is innocent then he will be released! If the facts show that he was erroneously arrested with malice then he can sue LASD civily… But until then we all have to wait and see the evidence from both sides… The sad part is I suspect no matter how much evidence is presented some family members would still say he is innocent…

    • Tootsie
      July 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Do you honestly think the family hasn’t done that? But anyone with common sense knows that area is peopled with racist and bigots. I know how Banks got id’d you idiot!The evidence is bull. Oh, by the way, a public defender won’t be handling the case so locking away an innocent man is not going to be easy. Can’t wait for real justice. As i type the case is going viral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • really
        July 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        Ok so educate us all as to how he was ID’d!!! Viral? You mean you guys are screaming and whining loud enough that news( I mean parrots) are giving you a mouthpiece to say whatever you want without any evidence? And if the AV is so racist why is it one of the most integrated communities in America? Why have black folks been moving here in droves since the 90’s???

        • Missy
          July 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm

          “really” i think its because its a section 8 haven..

        • Steven McQueen
          July 6, 2012 at 11:09 pm

          I’m glad black folks are moving out there. I wish I could get a ship and bring over some full blooded, coal black bucks and drop them off on your doorstep. They will keep coming and coming and coming until the KKK surrenders and move deeper in the mountains. SMILE with my big white teeth showing.

          • John Doe
            July 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm

            Please get that boat and bring the full blooded blacks and we can fill the boat up with the AV/Compton ghetto hood rats. Great trade for us but not so good for whoever gets that boat back bcuz if they don’t have section 8 they might have to actually get a job to pay the rent and feed their kids, if not hope the cameras are turned on.

          • really
            July 7, 2012 at 12:36 am

            Wtf is a Coal Black Buck? Is that a term for a really dark black guy? What would happen if you brought a boatload of guys who lived in a third world country to the USA? My guess is they would be awed by Americas greatness, get a job and work their asses of because they understand what a great country this is!!! Oh wait they already do that!!! Is that supposed to scare me?? I could give to turds about a persons skin tone!! Im a racist but you arent man enough to talk about the fact that 65% of black kids have no father in the home… Maybe its not the white man holding you down maybe its the fact that 65% of black fathers are punk asses who cant be bothered to raise their kids!!!!

          • Alex
            July 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

            Really, you are completely correct that fatherless homes tend to be more likely to be criminals, socially deviant, etc.

            Here is an article just in case someone questions it:

   (has citations for DoJ report)

            Here are some more reports:

            63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes –U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census

            85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes –Center for Disease Control

            80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes –Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26

            71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes –National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools

            70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes –U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report Sept., 1988

            85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home –Fulton County Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992 Translated

        • Tootsie
          July 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

          When you’ve gone back to school and learn the proper use of grammar than perhaps I’ll consider sharing some of my knowledge.

          • really
            July 7, 2012 at 12:23 am

            Right!!! What was off with my grammar? Cant share the super secret facts that might make the public stand beside you and demand the release of a wrongfully accussed man? My grammar is gonna keep you from speaking out to help free your loved one? I hope your buddy/relative likes jail because this ship is already sinking!!!!

          • Tootsie
            July 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

            Guess that’s why the av police department is under investigation. Guess that’s why the justice system out there is under investigation. There must be a reason. Wonder why they’ve been trying to keep it a secret. But it won’t be a secret for long. You think you’re upset now, you’re going to be red. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m out, people like you are a waste. No need to check this site or comment ever again. Headed to my girl’s house who by the way is white.

          • John Doe
            July 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

            Oh Tootsie Roll you’ll be back…can’t wait!

          • really
            July 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

            Of course!!! My loved one is innocent but I cant be bothered to explain why!!! I gotta go to my girls house!!! Yeah I see you are so distraught!!! Typical of the bunch, all bark and no bite!!!

          • Alex
            July 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            Many police departments go under review regularly by the DoJ, especially when crime statistics show a certain group spiking in arrests, in this case it is certain minorities spiking on the arrests. Or lawsuits are filed claiming bias.

            These reviews do not mean that those arrests are unjustified, it just means that a third party is sent into see if racial bias is in play, or whether it is indeed just more minorities are committing crimes.

            This happens all the time all across the country.

          • is anyone surprised?
            July 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

            Tootsie, what the heck are you talking about? yeah, I am sure you don’t have a clue.. the av sheriff is under investigation? by whom, more of those black groups that continue to keep the “pot” stirred? and, seriously, who cares if your girlfriend is white, black, pink or purple!

          • Delron
            August 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

            oooh, tootsie has a white girl! Odds are, she’s a complete mental nutjob with low self esteem, daddy issues, and is overweight.

      • Delron
        August 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        The case is going viral? HAHAHAHA, ummm, yeah, not so much. Nobody cares. But you are right, anyone with common sense knows that area is peopled with racists and bigots, but guess what? Many of those racists and bigots happen to be extra pigmented (i.e. black).

  19. cren
    July 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I know Damon personally. He is my cousin. He is a father who has dedicated his life to his children. He was always a good child, a good brother, son and a great father. The fact that he is educated, has a good job, and a loving family who will support him may bother some people with unjust motives for their hateful and or political gain. Damon is not, and has never been a criminal. Damon is a man of great character, he is loving, kind, caring, and like any other MAN, deserves respect and the truth to come out. This is just a season and this will pass. Why would he even turn himself in to clear things up? A criminal would run until he was caught. Damon is a good man and has always had the best intentions. I am not saying he is perfect, no one is. For a fact, not everyone with dark skin and a male is guilty as some individuals would like to convince. If you choose to base your opinion off of a picture from a DMV, or because he is simply “another” African American, you are feeding into one of America’s biggest problems. IGNORANCE

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Oooh, nice PR piece. That will go over well when it’s read during the sentencing phase of the trial, or perhaps when the defense calls character witnesses. I would clean up a few of the grammatical mistakes though.

      • August 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm


  20. Hmm
    July 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Aren’t all criminals innocent?

  21. Michelle Sutton
    July 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    This my cousin who I have known all of my life
    He is a great father is employed and has no reason to rob anyone. I pray that Justice prevails and this is obviously a mistake!!

  22. Shanette
    July 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    In 2012 with all the technology that exist someone could still be falsly accused, this is crazy.Damon is a father who works hard every day to provide for his children Damon has a very good job and has no reason to take anything from anyone a educated man, who has worked to provide for his family that is the way he was raised.The reason they have his ID picture up in the paper is because he has no criminal history no mug shot. How can a person be identidied but be an hour and a half away at home.None of this makes since this is so wrong.

    • really
      July 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Im confused, Momma says he was in town to visit Granny and watch the fight, however you say he was an hour and a half away… It amazes me that sometimes in 2012 people are so blinded by their desire to believe a loved one, that they would negate surveillance video and other evidence simply because it is their family member and its easier to blame the evil police…. Again Ill say it… I have no idea if he is guilty or not but unless your ass was on the couch next to him in Lakewood when the crime occurred then be quiet and let the legal system work… And dont give mecrap about our legal system because its a jury of your peers( people of all races and biases that decides your fate) not the wicked policeman!!!

      • Letlow
        July 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

        The article clearly states Mr. Banks was in town to visit Granny and watch the fight on June 9, the night BEFORE the robberies and then was back home an hour and a half away on June 10 when the robberies were committed. Hopefully you won’t be sitting on his jury, because your ability to grasp information seems to be limited.
        His family my be blinded by love, but you on the other hand are so blinded by prejudice that you jump to pick apart this woman’s comment without even reading and understanding the article.
        Ready is fundamental Mr. Really!!

        • really
          July 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

          Leftnut or whatever it is, you are correct the article states that. However you illustrate pefectly the mentality… Im a racist automaticlly because I question the story? I have stated several times who knows if he is guilty… but if you want support from the community produce concrete facts!!

  23. Topflight417
    July 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Ok wait here everyone. First lets start off with the stupid innocent picture they have posted vs the dmv picture. That guy is now grown up and i can tell just by the dmv picture that he looks like he is up to no good. Chin up and the little chin hairs growing thats like a big wanna be gangster. Im sure he did it or is associated with whoever did it. The sheriffs department are not perfect but one thing ill tell u is that if they got him out of 99 percent blacks in the av is for some good reason. He ended up in the most wanted list. Thats for a reason. The sheriffs and the judge are not going to throw someone in jail if they dont have reasonable suspicius the person arrest did something and evidence. Dont let the dumb picture fool you we all have innocent picture at one point before we started doing our [removed]. Pleas come on now.

    • Letlow
      July 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

      WOW, you can TELL someone is up to no good just by a DMV picture??? With that statement alone, you have lost all credibility here!

      How about I can tell you are a racist stereotyping bastard just by your comment!

    • G.W.BUSH
      July 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Mr.TOPFLIGHT417,I bet you would just love it if they just lock up every black man in america.Just the thought of that just make you want to get off, and cream all in your thongs !!!yeah,you would have to walk around with a suit case full of underwear,because you’ll cream them out every five seconds!!I read alot of your stuff,because you are all over this site,and you suprise me once when you agreed with ace,but other than that you are negative,negative,negative,negative!Man i hate to be the carrier of bad news,but that would never happen!!!

    • Sammy
      July 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Topflight, you’re an idiot. We have a story right here bout 6 months back with the sheriffs stopping a woman at the courthouse claiming she was a criminal. They said they had a picture of her. The jury cut her loose. Why? Because they saw the picture the sheriffs were working off of. The only thing the woman had in common with the picture was she was black and was wearing hoop earrings. This was AFTER the sheriffs threw her in jail twice, and almost cost her her MTA job. Maybe if all black folk didn’t look the same to them?

    • Miss Daisy
      July 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Everyone should simply dismiss you. It’s obvious you are just a poor, lonely and uneducated fool. Chin up and the little chin hairs. Dumb ass!

  24. SurelyMoved
    July 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

    O wow, come on now a blind man can see this kid is innocent. What motives does he have. Again another disappointed resident.

  25. Ali
    July 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

    You would think they would bring in the witnesses and do a line up or something. I’m wondering why they are so sure it was him? Especially if he doesn’t even live in the area? If he is innocent I feel really bad for him..

    • whatAcase
      July 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

      From the looks of things they arent sure…by the way, where is his supposed crime partner???
      Somethings not right here…

  26. The Ugly Truth
    July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

    If the guy is innocent that sucks! I hope that they can at least be 100% sure before they put him away.

  27. Letlow
    July 6, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Poor kid.

    • hmmmm
      July 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

      It’s a horrible mistake if this guy is innocent and strange that his witnesses haven’t been contacted smh

Comments are closed.