Knoxville sees second night of protest over Anthony Thompson Jr. shooting death: ‘Enough is enough’

Wednesday’s first night of unrest followed the release of police bodycam footage of the incident and the Knox County district attorney’s claim that a police officer’s use of deadly force was justified.

The video showed Thompson, 17, was carrying a gun when he was shot in a school restroom, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

On Thursday, calls for police reforms and for the Knoxville police officers involved in the shooting to face charges seemed louder than during the previous evening’s protest, the report said.

“This has been going on too long, and we are here to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” the Rev. Calvin Skinner, a local faith leader, told Thursday’s gathering, according to the newspaper.

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Thompson was the fifth student of Austin-East Magnet High School to die by gunfire in 2021, the report said.

Protesters argued that the video showed a murder, not a police officer acting in self-defense.

Several police officers watched Thursday’s protest from the roof of the city’s police headquarters, the News Sentinel reported.

It wasn’t clear if there was any vandalism, violence or arrests.

Prior to the April 12 shooting, Thompson was seen roaming around the school during class hours after being involved in an altercation with his former girlfriend, WATE-TV of Knoxville reported.

Four officers had responded to the school after a domestic abuse call from the girl’s mother. The officers went into a restroom where they believed Thompson was, reportedly unaware that Thompson was armed.

According to authorities, the video shows officers locating and then attempting to handcuff Thompson. One officer grabs Thompson’s right arm, but Thompson’s left arm is in his sweatshirt pocket where the video shows he is holding a handgun. The barrel of the weapon is seen poking through the pocket. Thompson’s weapon then goes off, hitting a trash can but not any of the officers.

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As the officers reacted, Officer Jonathon Clabough is then seen drawing his weapon and shooting Thompson in a shoulder. Clabough fires his weapon again as Thompson falls to the floor with the officers surrounding him.

The officers did not realize Thompson had been shot until about two minutes later, after handcuffing him, turning him over and seeing blood.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

The suspect was holding a gun that was discharged while they attempted to restrain him and the officers were confused into thinking their lives were in danger? If their lives weren’t in danger from an armed suspect firing his weapon, when would they have been? What part of “armed suspect firing his weapon” is even remotely confusing as to its threat to life?

There was no confusion and the reporter who wrote this needs to go clean toilets somewhere. The officer who fired the shot thought his partner had been shot by the thug who fired two rounds first. The black officer fired his weapon in self-defense to protect all three officers and the students & teachers in the school. Go watch the DA’s news conference where everything was disclosed including all of the body camera videos that the racist protestors were demanding. There’s something called an investigation that must occur first before evidence is released but these thug protestors don’t respect the rule of law. Now it’s all been released and they’re not willing to accept the truth. Go take your racism somewhere else.

All we hear about is what the police could have done differently or better. Whenever something bad happens to me the first thing I ask myself is what could I have done differently to avoid putting myself in that situation in the first place. Instead, we hear race-baiting politicians like Maxine Waters always putting the onus of responsibility on the police. I can’t remember the last time I had to deal with a police officer for any reason

That phrase caught my attention, too. What a ridiculous statement! Of course they thought their lives were in danger! They’re trying to handcuff a kid in school who had been in a physical altercation with his girlfriend, he had one hand in his sweatshirt where he had a gun stashed with the barrel pointing outwards, it goes off. Their lives WERE IN DANGER. This kid sounds like he was a mess and not to be trusted.

The 17-year old young man was carrying a 9mm Glock handgun, which is the same make and caliber carried by 90% of police forces in the US. 9mm Glocks cost in excess of $400.00. Where did that 17-year old kid get a 9mm Glock in the first place? What is there to protest? He could very easily have killed one of the police officers who were attempting to arrest him. Instead of complying with the police, he put his hand in the pocket where he was carrying his Glock and discharged the gun. What is there to protest? His conduct is indefensible.

Rural vs. urban makes a big difference on this. I taught at an urban high school starting in the mid-90s and students who had either a family member or friend who had died to gun violence made up a significant portion of the student population. None of it happened at school – we had school police (armed after Columbine) and admins that were very diligent about keeping weapons of all kinds out of the building – but it still happened. Wasn’t limited to blacks, either.

This has been going on too long, and we are here to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” I totally agree. It’s time to put an end to habitual law-breakers, and people who fail to comply with police. It’s time that we hold them accountable for making life miserable for the rest of us. Thank you police, for recognizing that enough is enough.

Rural vs. urban makes a big difference on this. I taught at an urban high school starting in the mid-90s and students who had either a family member or friend who had died to gun violence made up a significant portion of the student population. None of it happened at school – we had school police (armed after Columbine) and admins that were very diligent about keeping weapons of all kinds out of the building – but it still happened. Wasn’t limited to blacks, either.

(And for the record, gun-related violence peaked in the ’80s and ’90s, so if you lived in an area where it wasn’t happening, count yourself lucky.)