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Lawsuit in shooting of Anthony Thompson Jr. continuing after KPD clears officers

Legal experts like T. Scott Jones said it is likely the civil suit could move forward.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, was shot and killed by an officer in April 2021 during a struggle with four officers inside an Austin-East High School bathroom. Those four officers could face a federal civil investigation. 

Last year, an internal investigation was launched by the Knoxville Police Department. On Wednesday, they announced that the four officers involved in that shooting were cleared. Investigators said they followed department policy.

However, the family filed a lawsuit against the officers and Knoxville in April. His mother sued the city and the officers to pay damages for the death of her son. She had to take out a loan to bury him.

"You'll hear us talk about pending litigation, and that is a lawsuit that is going to take a long time to resolve," said Margaret Held from the Held Law Firm in downtown Knoxville. 

Held represents Chanada Robinson, the mother of Anthony Thompson Jr.

"The initial complaint that was filed talks about the last day of Anthony's life. And the events that led up to those officers entering the bathroom. It talks about how none of the police training was followed," said Held. 

Legal experts like T. Scott Jones said it is likely the civil suit could move forward.

"I don't expect a resolution anytime soon. There will, of course, be discovery conducted, depositions taken interviews that are going to be conducted by plaintiffs," he said.

The District Attorney General's Office cleared all four officers involved of any criminal charges in 2021. Held said at the end of the civil suit, they hope to see changes in protocols for school resource officers. 

"There are things that can be done that allow parents to take care of their kids and don't put kids face-to-face with armed law enforcement," Held said.

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