Preliminary Investigation Reveals Knoxville Teen Didn’t Shoot Police

Preliminary Investigation Reveals Knoxville Teen Didn’t Shoot Police

04.20.21
Photo: Anthony Thompson Jr./Ben Crump via Twitter
04.20.21

The attorney for the family of a teen fatally shot by police in a Knoxville high school earlier this month is calling for the bodycam video after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said “Preliminary examinations indicate the bullet that struck the KPD officer was not fired from the student’s handgun.”

Anthony Thompson Jr. was killed April 12 at Austin-East Magnet High School after police responded to a report of a person “possibly” armed with a gun in the school.

Police initially said they returned fire on Thompson after he shot a school resource officer.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said the police saw a person of color, rushed to use lethal force and created a narrative to justify the fatal shooting.

“It’s shocking to me that when suspects are white, even shooters who took multiple lives like Kyle Rittenhouse and Nikolas Cruz, police manage to take them into custody alive. But when a suspect is a person of color, there is no attempt to de-escalate the situation. Police shoot first and ask questions later, time after time, because Black lives are afforded less value,” Crump said in a statement.

The bodycam video won’t be released until the investigation is completed, according to Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen.

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