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News that a 17-year-old Black high school student did not actually shoot an officer before police killed him inside a school bathroom last week is prompting calls for police body camera footage and the involvement of a prominent civil rights attorney.
Officers fatally shot Anthony Thompson Jr., a junior at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 12 after the Knoxville Police Department responded to a report of someone “possibly” armed with a handgun inside the school.
In an interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel, local parent Regina Perkins said she called the police after her teen daughter, who had been dating Thompson, came home early from school with signs of physical abuse. But Perkins said she never described Thompson as armed with a gun and isn’t sure how police got that information.
“I regret making that call now. I wish we could have dealt with it differently,” she told the local paper.
Authorities said that when police arrived at the school and confronted the teen, he refused to come out of a bathroom. Police initially said a confrontation ensued and that Thompson shot a school resource officer, prompting officers to return fire, killing him.
This is Anthony Thompson Jr. — a 17yo Black teen killed last week by @Knoxville_PD in his school’s bathroom. They first said Ant shot a cop before another returned fire, but now admit the cop accidentally shot himself! Why isn’t anyone talking about this? We must demand answers! pic.twitter.com/ifTh7DFniK— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 17, 2021
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