Family of killed Austin-East student retains lawyer who represented George Floyd, Trayvon Martin


FILE – In this June 25, 2020 file photo Attorney Benjamin Crump speaks to a gathering on the steps at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Crump is representing the family of a Black man who was shot and killed Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies after he was stopped for a traffic violation while riding a bicycle and later “made a motion” toward a gun on the ground. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, file)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Ben Crump, a nationally-known trial lawyer and civil rights advocate who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and George Floyd, has been retained by the family of an Austin-East Magnet high school student who was killed in an officer-involved shooting.

Crump confirmed Monday on Twitter that he has been retained by the family of Anthony J. Thompson Jr, the 17-year-old student who died after being shot in a confrontation with Knoxville Police officers inside a school bathroom on April 12.

Police say Thompson, who was armed, was inside a bathroom and did not come out when asked. Officers entered the bathroom, where there was a struggle.

What happened is still under investigation, but when it was over, Knoxville Police officer Adama Willson had been injured with a gunshot, and Thompson was shot to death. A preliminary investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation indicated the bullet that struck Willson was not fired from Thompson’s gun.

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said Thursday body camera video recorded during the fatal shooting will be released at an appropriate time.

Three of the four Knoxville Police officers placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School released a statement expressing support for the release of body camera video from the incident.

The statement followed the announcement from Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas that she supported the release of the relevant body camera footage. Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon had asked Allen to release the body camera video but was denied that request.

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