Mayor Kincannon says decision to not charge officers is ‘fair’

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"Eleven seconds. 11 seconds where they saw a gun, they thought one of their fellow officers was shot. They thought the safety of themselves and others were at risk. So, yeah I think those conclusions were fair."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In a Wednesday press conference, Mayor Indya Kincannon responds to the release of bodycam video of officer-involved shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School on April 12.

“Transparency matters, accountability matters. The bodycam footage as well as other evidence, offer our community a more complete picture of what happened on April 12.

On one hand, an independent investigation has ended and found that KPD officers acted lawfully. On the other, a young person, a 17-year-old boy, Anthony Thompson Jr. is dead.”

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Kincannon says that she agrees with District Attorney General Charme Allen’s decision on not pressing charges against any of the officers involved. This, after watching the released bodycam video.

“Eleven seconds. 11 seconds where they saw a gun, they thought one of their fellow officers was shot. They thought the safety of themselves and others were at risk. So, yeah I think those conclusions were fair.”

Kincannon

Kincannon’s full statement below:

“I am relieved that the public is finally able to see the body-cam footage from Monday’s Austin-East High School shooting, as I have been pushing for.

Let me be clear—while this is a critical step and essential to accountability and transparency in our City, this is still a sad day. I appreciate the DA and her staff working so hard to complete the investigation of this tragic incident.

Transparency matters. Accountability matters. The body camera footage, as well as other evidence presented by the DA, offer our community a more complete picture of what unfolded on April 12th. This information, while imperative for transparency, is not easy to watch.

On one hand, an independent investigation has ended and found that KPD officers acted lawfully. On the other, a young person is dead.

My heart is heavy knowing how quickly an effort to prevent harm can end in tragedy. Watching the video, my heart breaks again for Anthony. His life matters, and he is gone too soon.

My heart breaks for his family, and those who loved him. No parent should have to bury their child, and my prayers are with them as they continue to mourn.

My heart breaks for the young man who witnessed a friend’s death — and experienced a trauma no young person should have to experience. It breaks for the officers, whose lives are forever changed, as well.

Let us remember our shared humanity as we watch these events unfold on video & digest the findings of the investigation.

Even as we find ourselves in places of disagreement, let us remember that we stand united in our quest for safety in our communities & accountability & the truth.

We grieve TOGETHER in the loss of a young person. We hurt TOGETHER at the pain in our community and the lives affected by violence. We care TOGETHER about the future of our City, of our young people, and of families all across the City.

I hope that — as our community takes the time to process — we do so valuing peace as a path toward healing. Let us wrap our arms around our young people in Knoxville — lift up their voices and work together to keep them safe.

Let us seek and acknowledge ways to prevent the loss of life, wherever lives are at risk. Let us work to build trust, to forge relationships, & work together to create a more safe and vibrant city.

Let us work collectively — and peacefully — to heal our Community from this loss and from this tragedy.”

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