KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The mother of Anthony Thompson Jr and friend Gralyn Strong are asking the federal court to require the City of Knoxville and Knox County to implement nine policies regulating how and when police officers interact with students. The policies, as a whole, are to be known as “Anthony’s Law.”
Thompson, 17, was shot and killed by a Knoxville Police Officer during a confrontation in the bathroom at Austin East High School on April 12, 2021. The lawsuit accuses the Knox County Police Department, the Knox County Board of Education, Knox County and the four Knoxville Police officers involved in the incident of being ill-trained and failing to follow or implement policies already in place.
“Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law to fully redress the wrongs they have suffered, and that others similarly situated have suffered and will suffer,” the lawsuit states. “The need for such relief is critical to protect the rights of future students and families under the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Tennessee.”
Anthony’s Law, as proposed:
◼ For law enforcement to be prohibited from serving any warrant or making any arrest at school unless such is necessary to protect the immediate safety of those present at the school.
◼ To require Police Action & Review Committee (PARC) to publish data identifying any Knoxville Police Department officers who have been subject to a complaint of excessive force and/or who have discharged a firearm
◼ To require KPD to provide at least forty (40) hours of training, to be agreed upon by the parties, to all KPD officers who may be called upon to enter school premises on de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques.
◼ To provide at least forty (40) hours of training to all KPD officers with regard to compliance with School Board Policy C-210, and the requirements of the Memorandum of Agreement executed in July 2019, as amended by agreement of the parties of Order of this Court, and for such Memorandum to be subject to enforcement in a court of law.
◼ To warn a child that they will be subject to physical force if they do not immediately comply with officer requests, before applying such force.
◼ To refrain from interrogating or questioning the next of kin of a deceased child within the first 24 hours.
◼ To provide the next of kin with immediate notice of where their deceased family member’s body is when it has been transported from the scene of the death.
◼ To provide the next of kin with any and all video and audio footage of the incident leading to their child’s death at least 24 hours prior to releasing such footage publicly.
◼ To notify the next of kin at least 24 hours prior to any press conference discussing the circumstances of a child’s death and obtain permission from the next of kin to release the child’s name and image.