KPD Chief Thomas releases statement after release of body cam footage of fatal Austin-East officer-involved shooting

KPD Chief Thomas has issued a statement following DA Allen releasing body cam footage.
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 7:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Knoxville Police Department Chief Thomas issued a statement after Knoxville District Attorney Charme Allen released body camera footage of the fatal Austin-East officer-involved shooting that left 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. dead and a Knoxville Police Department officer hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Office of Attorney General Charme Allen and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for their tireless attention to this case and expediency in the completion of a comprehensive, independent investigation. I am thankful that those investigative efforts determined that the actions of our officers, under intense and unpredictable circumstances, were justified and they were cleared of any wrongdoing. My hope is that the release of the evidence in its totality provides a sense of clarity and answers the pressing questions that the community deserved to hear regarding the circumstances that led to this event. With that being said, this was an incredibly tragic and traumatic experience for everyone involved. Lives have been irrevocably altered by this event. My thoughts are with the family of Anthony Thompson Jr., to whom I extend my most heartfelt condolences and sympathies. My thoughts are also with our officers, who will carry the burden and trauma of this for the rest of their lives.”

DA Allen shared evidence concerning the officer-involved shooting. After reviewing the video evidence, DA Allen said she believes it was reasonable for Officer Clabough to feel his and the other officers’ lives were in danger.

The bullets that struck both Anthony Thompson Jr. and Officer Willson came from Officer Clabough’s gun, Allen said.

The autopsy shows that the bullet entered Thompson’s upper left body, traveled through both lungs and through the bottom of his heart. Because of the severity of the injury, no matter how soon aid was provided, Thompson Jr. would not have survived, said Allen.

“This was a devastating, non-recovering, life-ending injury”, the medical examiner said of Thompson Jr.’s death.

No charges will be filed against any of the officers involved in the shooting of Anthony Thompson Jr, said Allen.

When questioned about potential unrest in the community following the decision not to charge officers, Allen said, “At some point, we have to stop protesting against each other and work together for the greater good.”

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