KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Calls for justice in the death of 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. continued in Knoxville Sunday.
Demonstrators took their message to West Knoxville. They caravanned across town, arriving in a West Knoxville neighborhood. They all exited their cars to march up and down the streets, holding signs and pictures of Thompson.
Protesters say their intent was to protest in front of District Attorney General Charme Allen’s home.
“Why here? This is supposedly the DA’s house that basically said it was okay for Anthony Thompson to be murdered. This is supposedly her house, so we’re here today for justice,” said Tyshawn Jackson, a protester.
“We want answers we want to know how you came to the conclusion that none of them were guilty, I mean there was no de-escalation, there was no anything,” said Frederick Wagoner, a protester.
It turns out the home may not have belonged to Allen. According to several neighbors, and a man who says he lives there currently, the DA does not live at the residence where protesters gathered.
Despite the possible mistake, protesters still used the time to make their voices heard. They marched around the subdivision and chanted things like Anthony’s name and “Black Lives Matter”
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Neighbors weren’t expecting the protest in their neighborhood, but some say they didn’t mind. One homeowner came outside to hand out popsicles to demonstrators.
“We didn’t know what it was, we just heard the helicopters,” said Hannah Sheard, a neighbor. “We actually thought it was one of those birthday celebration drive throughs.”
“I felt excited. I felt like they were coming in peacefully and trying to make a really important point and so I was cheering with them and clapping and saying black lives matter,” said April Clark, a neighbor.
The protest comes less than week after a news conference held DA Allen where she announced that the four officers involved in that shooting death of Thompson Jr. would not be charged due to evidence provided during the investigation.
“We’re totally fine with it. In fact, my daughter wanted to join. It’s all about peaceful protest to me and I feel like that’s what this is, so why not? Why can’t they be here?” Sheard said. “We may be on the other side of town, but there are definitely those of us who care.”
The protest remained peaceful. A Knox County Sheriff’s Office helicopter followed the whole way and monitored the protest. Demonstrators marched a few laps around the subdivision then left together.