Cops shot, killed Anthony Thompson in TN. His mother is suing


A Knoxville police officer shot and killed Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, in a toilet at Austin-East Magnet High School on April 12, 2021, in keeping with federal courtroom paperwork. His mom, Chanada Robinson, is suing the town of Knoxville, Knox County, the varsity board and the officers concerned.

Screengrab from Ben Crump’s Facebook web page

The mom of a 17-year-old scholar who was killed by police within the rest room of his Tennessee highschool final yr has filed a civil rights lawsuit towards metropolis and county officers.

Anthony Thompson Jr. had a gun in his pocket that he reportedly carried out of worry for his security when he was shot by officers with the Knoxville Police Department at Austin-East Magnet High School on April 12, 2021.

If college directors and the responding officers had adopted process, his mother mentioned, her son he would possibly nonetheless be alive.

Chanada Robinson, Anthony’s mom and a speech therapist who works for Knox County faculties, together with Gralyn Strong, his greatest buddy who reportedly witnessed his dying, filed go well with within the Eastern District of Tennessee on Monday, April 11.

The criticism names the town of Knoxville, Knox County, the Knox County Board of Education and the Knoxville cops concerned as defendants.

They embody Brian Baldwin, Stanley Cash, Jonathon Clabough and Adam Willson.

Lawyers representing Robinson and Gralyn didn’t instantly reply to McClatchy News’ request for remark. A faculty district spokesperson declined to remark.

The metropolis of Knoxville additionally declined to touch upon pending litigation besides to launch a press release from Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon.

“I can say that April 12, 2021 was a tragic day for the Thompson family, our officers, the school system, and our entire city,” Kincannon mentioned. “Anthony Thompson died before reaching his full potential and my thoughts remain with his family today.”

How was Anthony Thompson shot?

Anthony was courting one other scholar, in keeping with the lawsuit, however their relationship was typically “turbulent.”

On the day he died, the couple reportedly had an argument, after which his girlfriend went dwelling and Anthony stayed at college however didn’t go to his lessons, the criticism states. His girlfriend’s mother reportedly known as police simply earlier than 2 p.m. and mentioned Anthony had a gun and had threatened her daughter.

When police arrived at the highschool, his mother’s lawyer mentioned, Anthony and his greatest buddy Gralyn had been sitting in rest room stalls on their telephones.

According to the criticism, the responding officers bypassed the principal and went straight to the varsity useful resource officer. Together, the officers confronted Anthony within the rest room, the place they reportedly requested him to face up and take away his fingers from his hoodie pocket.

Anthony took a step ahead, eliminated one hand and stored the opposite in his pocket, the attorneys mentioned, at which level one of many officers grabbed his free arm.

A battle ensued with two of the officers reaching into Anthony’s pocket on the identical time whereas he mentioned, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,” in keeping with the lawsuit. The gun in his pocket then went off.

Four seconds handed between Anthony’s gun firing and Clabough reportedly capturing him. Attorneys mentioned Anthony was eradicating his different hand from his pocket when the deadly shot rang out.

Clabough was additionally accused of firing a second shot that hit the varsity useful resource officer, who recovered after surgical procedure.

While the varsity useful resource officer “climbed on top of Anthony to handcuff him,” Gralyn got here out of the neighboring stall together with his fingers up, the lawsuit states. Lawyers mentioned Gralyn was instructed to get on the bottom, the place he was positioned in handcuffs as he reportedly begged the officers to assist Anthony.

“That’s my brother! Forget me! Help my brother!” Gralyn mentioned, in keeping with the criticism. “Please help him! Please! Please! What ya’ll doin’!”

Gralyn was not suspected of committing any crime, the attorneys mentioned, and no first help was rendered to Anthony within the meantime.

“Gralyn began sobbing uncontrollably while Officer Cash stood over Anthony’s prone body and washed Anthony’s blood from his hands in the bathroom sink,” the lawsuit states.

In a press release launched simply earlier than 5:30 p.m. on the day of the capturing, police mentioned officers went to the varsity primarily based on reviews {that a} scholar was armed. They confirmed a male died on the scene whereas one other individual was taken in for questioning.

Anthony’s mother was additionally questioned on the police station by an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after the capturing, in keeping with the lawsuit. She was not instructed her son was useless till she demanded to know the place he was, her lawyer mentioned.

It took two days of calling hospitals to search out Anthony’s physique, the go well with states.

‘Just wants Anthony to disappear’

Robinson by no means knew her son had a gun till after he died, in keeping with the criticism. Her lawyer mentioned Anthony feared for his security as a result of not less than 4 space highschool college students had been shot and killed over six weeks early final yr, and his girlfriend’s household had additionally threatened him.

The Knox County District Attorney’s Office declined to file expenses towards any of the officers concerned, saying they acted in self-defense, NBC News reported.

A 21-year-old man, nevertheless, was charged with giving Anthony the gun. The DA’s workplace mentioned Kelvon Foster met Anthony at a pawn store the place he picked out a Glock Model 45 9mm handgun that Foster purchased for him.

According to the lawsuit, an settlement between college officers and native regulation enforcement had been put in place “to manage precisely the type of tragedy that occurred at Austin East on April 12.”

Attorneys mentioned the principal and regulation enforcement might have taken steps below that plan to guard Anthony — resembling calling his mother to select him up, speaking to regulation enforcement about the best way to strategy him safely, sending him to speak to his mentor or using a disaster intervention educated officer.

They mentioned Anthony’s dying has had a profound affect on his siblings and on Gralyn, all of whom have sought psychological well being therapy.

Gralyn has additionally skilled nervous breakdowns and panic assaults round cops. He’s since been identified with PTSD and despair, attorneys mentioned.

Robinson mentioned she has been denied conferences with metropolis and county officers to debate what occurred as a result of the town “just wants Anthony to disappear,” the lawsuit states.

The criticism accuses police and native officers of illegal search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, deliberate indifference to Anthony’s medical wants in violation of the 14th Amendment, failure to adequately prepare officers and failure to implement use-of-force insurance policies on college campuses.

It additionally makes claims for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional misery.

Robinson and Gralyn are in search of damages — together with to cowl the price of Anthony’s funeral — in addition to one thing known as “Anthony’s Law” that will require stricter police coaching and de-escalation methods on college campuses in addition to shield members of the family within the occasion of a dying.

The attorneys additionally requested for higher district insurance policies defining the position of regulation enforcement on college campuses.

None of the defendants have responded but, courtroom paperwork present.

Hayley Fowler is a reporter at The Charlotte Observer masking breaking and real-time information throughout North and South Carolina. She has a journalism diploma from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and beforehand labored as a authorized reporter in New York City earlier than becoming a member of the Observer in 2019.

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