Knoxville Police Chief calls for release of Austin-East bodycam video

The Chief law enforcement officer for the City of Knoxville is calling for the release of the body camera video from the fatal shooting inside Austin-East High School Monday.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 9:12 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas called for the release of the body camera footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting inside of Austin-East High School.

TBI officials confirmed 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. was killed during Monday’s incident.

A KPD spokesperson released the following statement:

“Chief Eve Thomas wants and supports the release of the relevant body camera footage from the officer-involved shooting inside of Austin-East Magnet High School. Our officers want to see the video released and the community deserves it.”

After receiving reports of a possibly armed student Monday afternoon, Knoxville Police located the student inside a school restroom. TBI officials said that officers ordered the student out, but he refused to comply. According to TBI, a struggle ensued between officers and Thompson Jr., during which the student’s gun was fired. Law enforcement responded by firing their weapons twice.

Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation originally reported Thompson fired shots that hit the officer. During their investigation, TBI revealed preliminary examinations indicate the bullet that struck Officer Willson was not fired from the student’s handgun.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon also called for the release of the bodycam footage. That request was denied by the District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney General Charme Allen said she understands that the community, the press and the citizens want to see the bodycam footage of this case.

Allen said her priority is to protect the criminal potential of the case and her office “has to protect the due process of law.” According to Allen, the video footage will be released at some point, but it must be done “at the appropriate time.”

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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