KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas has expressed her support for the release of body camera footage from four officers showing the physical altercation at Austin-East Magnet High School that led to the shooting death of a 17-year-old student.
“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,” KPD spokesperson Scott Erland said. “Our officers want to see the video released and the community deserves it.”
Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said Thursday body camera video recorded during Monday’s officer-involved fatal shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School will be released, ‘at an appropriate time.”
Allen said the video “has to complete its function as criminal evidence” before it can even be considered for release.
Earlier this week, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon had asked for the body camera video to be released but was denied that request.
Anthony J. Thompson, Jr, 17, died Monday after he being shot in a confrontation with Knoxville Police officers inside a bathroom at Austin-East Magnet High School on April 12. Police say Thompson, who was armed, was inside a bathroom and did not come out when asked. Police entered the bathroom, where there was a struggle. What happened is still under investigation but when it was over, an officer had been injured by a shot, and Thompson was shot to death.
Officer Adam Willson, a School Resource Officer at Austin-East Magnet High School, sustained a gunshot wound during the confrontation. A preliminary investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation indicated the bullet that struck him was not fired from Thompson’s gun.
Four officers connected with that incident are on administrative leave. The officers have been identified as Officer Adam Willson, Lieutenant Stanley Cash, Officer Jonathon Clabough and Officer Brian Baldwin.
The department had announced this month it had completed the training and installation of 297 body-worn cameras and 33 in-car camera systems. It comes after months of retrofitting, training, and ordering equipment.
A TBI-led investigation remains ongoing at this time.