KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The 15-year-old who was fired from her job after a social media post claimed she refused service at a deli to three Knox County deputies on Nov. 21 spoke out at a county commission meeting Monday night.
Knox County Commissioner Dr. Dasha Lundy invited the community for a discussion after a social media post made by Knox County Sheriff’s Office claimed to have encountered a cashier at McAlister’s on Schaad Road who “refused to take the order of one of the deputies” and called it “unfortunate” and “an isolated incident in our community.”
Some community members came Monday night, including the former McAlister’s cashier Aniya Thompson. According to Aniya, she was done with the end of her shift and asked a co-worker to take the deputies’ orders.
“I do not apologize for doing my job and handling a situation with decorum and professionalism which these officers did not do. Since then I have lost my first job and then was forced to watch my name and character be drug through the mud via social media because of Kimberly Glenn, a communications director for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, who failed to do her job accurately and has still yet to face the consequences of her actions,” Aniya said.
Aniya also asked some questions to the commission, one of them being if she was targeted because law enforcement knew about her brother, Anthony Thompson Jr., who was shot and killed by a Knoxville police officer inside a bathroom at Austin-East Magnet High School.
“I’ll leave you with this. Number one if I was anything other than a brown girl would this have happened? Two, was I targeted because of who my brother is? And number three, where is the accountability for those who choose to spread misinformation about me when I was only doing my job? When will they be held accountable?”Aniya Thompson, 15
There were some people in the community who were in support of Aniya after being fired from her job. Some even expressed the fact that “they never really got the whole story.”
“We don’t have an organization that looks over the whole operation and it’s very concerning when you have events like what happened at the McAlister’s where a 15-year-old was fired … Posting something as a representative of a sheriff’s office is wrong, especially when it’s a 15-year-old girl or a minor, come on,” said Will Bowen, who attended the commission meeting.
He continued, “Even with the connection to Anthony Thompson, it’s already bad, but now, it makes it even worse. Like it’s a little suspicious.”
Lundy also stated that she is also standing with Aniya and was vocal on the incident involving the deputies, “If I have to freaking disrupt the system, I’m here for it baby, I was born for this. If I have to subpoena the records, I would do it. There‘s no fear in me.”