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.
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.
The shot seems to confuse the officers into thinking their lives are in danger.
Officer Jonathon Clabough can be 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.