Knoxville Mayor Removes Police from Schools After Police Shot, Killed Armed High School Student

Mayor Indya Kincannon


Knoxville schools will no longer have a police presence, per a joint letter issued by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and the Knoxville Police Department (KPD). The mayor and KPD pulled the plug on an agreement in which KPD supplied officers as security for Knox County Schools (KCS).

KPD officers will be pulled from schools by June 12 – the latest date of graduations occurring. The letter explained that KCS’s internal security and mental health professionals have grown since the agreement took place, making it unnecessary to have KPD assistance.

“I have profound appreciation and the utmost respect for the Board of Education’s role in ensuring that all children have access to a high-quality education in a safe, nurturing environment. As the Knox County School’s internal School Security Division has grown, and as you now have resources to add mental health professionals to schools, we agree that it is time to have a public dialogue about our respective roles to ensure school safety,” read the letter. “Please know that the Knoxville Police Department will always be ready to respond to emergencies in and around our schools, no matter what.”

The Tennessee Star inquired with the mayor’s office, the Knox County Board of Education, and KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas about this decision. Neither the mayor’s office or the board responded with comment by press time; Thomas’s spokesperson referred The Star to the board.

Both Thomas and members of the Knox County Board of Education were reportedly surprised by the announcement. Thomas told reporters that KCS hoped to have more discussion about instilling some type of law enforcement presence within the schools.

“I was surprised with the decision by Mayor Kincannon and Chief Thomas to withdraw from the [Memorandum of Agreement] MOA at the end of this school year; however, I am grateful that they are willing to have further conversations about it,” said Thomas.

Kincannon’s decision came less than a month after the Austin-East Magnet High School shooting. KPD officers shot and killed an armed, 17-year-old teenage student, Anthony Thompson Jr., following an altercation in one of the campus bathrooms. Officers were following up on a report of domestic abuse; Thompson had reportedly assaulted his then-girlfriend while at school that day.

Thompson’s gun, hidden in his hoodie pocket, fired once and hit a trash can as officers attempted to detain him. An officer responded by shooting Thompson. No officers were shot.

Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen informed the public during a press conference that Thompson was given an advance warning that officers were coming to the school.

Based on the body camera footage, Allen determined that the officers involved wouldn’t face charges.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mayor Indya Kincannon” by Mayor Indya Kincannon.





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16 Thoughts to “Knoxville Mayor Removes Police from Schools After Police Shot, Killed Armed High School Student”

  1. Henry

    Wow, too bad the cops were there and that kid got shot… instead of five other kids.
    Way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Mayor Kincannon.

  2. Jim

    Ya know, what Knoxville really needs is a baseball stadium. This will fix (almost)everything! In fact, maybe someone should suggest that the rest of us taxpayers pick up half of the tab for it. Oh, that’s already been done, oops. Well, but then, all of the fatherless kids living in that area will have good role models like Colin K, or Lebron J. and will be able to become overpaid athletes who then further help fix the problem!

  3. william delzell

    Would you put police in wealthy white schools? I doubt it. The mayor was right. Police are not equipped to handle school disturbances. Only as a last resort, not as a first convenience, should we use police in schools as substitute guidance counselors.

    1. Steve Allen

      The greater question; is the need for police (or some other authoritarian entity) in schools the result of parenting that falls far short of what is needed to assure children behave in a respectful manner?

  4. Vegas has now issued odds for a mass shooting. Good for gamblers, not so much for the folks of Knoxville.

  5. Horatio Bunce

    “An officer responded by shooting Thompson. No officers were shot.”

    But the KPD’s press release on 4/12 said: “Upon approach of the subject, shots were fired. A KPD officer was struck at least one time and transported to UT Medical Center with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening.”

    Which one is true?

  6. Ron W

    So the police are going to be removed for the reason why they were there? Wow!

    Or was this supposed to be another mass shooting pretext for the gun control agenda which was stopped by a good guy with a gun? If not, why remove the gung god guys with the guns?

    1. Ron W

      Correction: “the good guys with the guns?”

  7. RDavidson

    Knoxville needs a new mayor.

  8. Boyd

    Goodbye Knoxville, it was nice knowing ya.

  9. Ms Independent

    Liberal Knoxville……setting the way for more violence.

  10. Kevin

    So a young punk breaks a bunch of laws and pays a severe although expected price, now the 99.999% of the kids who know enough not to bring guns to schools, especially if you’re gonna beat up your girlfriend, have to go to school fearing for their lives.

    Isn’t the purpose of having “good guys” with guns in schools, to prevent “bad guys” from doing bad things to good students? Sounds to me like this Mayor is a moron!

    1. Ron W

      Kevin, No doubt the Mayor and other important people around her have armed protection. Only the elite ruling class and others of special importance and privilege are to have armed security. I suppose one of Joe Biden’s few “accomplishments” in Congress and the Senate was sponsoring the Gun Free School Zones back in 1990 which helped facilitate the mass shootings and give the ruling class a reactionary pretext for gun control–against us and our children, while EXEMPTING THEMSELVES.
      It’s a historical certitude:


  11. Steve Allen

    Classic leftist logic. The LEO saves lives and shoots the gunman. Sooooo, the school removes their protection. If you bring a gun to school,this is the outcome.

  12. Truthy McTruthFace

    sounds like knoxville has a commie lib mayor.

    when crime runs rampant in the schools wonder if she’ll change her tune.

  13. Tim Price

    Knoxville is now becoming a s***hole like most Democrat controlled dity.

    Who is going to protect the good and decent kids from the thugs!

    What a joke!