KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knox County commissioner is inviting a community discussion about events surrounding a recent incident involving a 15-year-old deli clerk and three Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
“The situation with the young lady and the Law Enforcement could have been handled differently,” Lundy’s letter states. “I am currently experiencing a deep wrestling within my Spirit and I know many others who are reading this letter are experiencing the same wrestling. We have to fix this situation and many others like it.”
In an open letter dated Nov. 30, Knox County District 1 Commissioner Dr. Dasha Lundy invited people who wanted “to speak to this issue or any other issue” to attend the county commission meeting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19, in the Main Assembly Room at the City County Building at 400 Main Street in Knoxville.
People who would like to speak should call 865-215-2534 to sign up for the public forum.
Lundy says in the letter that she is “deeply disturbed by the stance that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has taken as relates to the 15-year-old young lady who was employed at McAlister’s Deli.”
According to a post made by Knox County Sheriff’s Office personnel, deputies went to the deli on Schaad Road on Monday, Nov. 21 for food and were refused service. That post, and the story, went viral as people expressed their opinion on what KSCO personnel said had happened.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler released a statement saying “a cashier refused to take the order of one of the deputies.” Spangler also called it “unfortunate” and “an isolated incident in our community.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the teen was fired, according to an attorney for the family.
The teen is the sibling of Austin-East Magnet High School student Anthony Thompson Jr., the 17-year-old who was shot and killed inside a school bathroom by a Knoxville Police officer after a confrontation in April 2021.
“The accusations were most likely a miscommunication among 3 parties,” Lundy’s letter reads. “Now, we are dealing with a bigger problem. We have a healing teen who has lost her brother and her first job with(in) a 2-year time span.”
“Unfortunately, I have learned in my short time as the Commissioner for District 1, that we are in deep trouble as it relates to the care and compassion for the underserved, underrepresented, and the Black/Brown Community,” Lundy’s letter read.
See Lundy’s full letter below:
The Knox County Commission meets in regular session at 5 p.m. on the fourth Monday each month in the Main Assembly Room at the City County Building at 400 Main Street. The next scheduled meeting is Monday, Dec. 19 and is the final regular session meeting of the year.