Mayor's request for release of school shooting video denied

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Knoxville police work the scene of a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday, April 12, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The mayor of the east Tennessee city of Knoxville requested the release of video footage of a high school shooting that left one student dead and a police officer wounded, but a local prosecutor said Thursday she denied the request amid the ongoing investigation.

Mayor Indya Kincannon said on Twitter that she had requested that redacted video be made available to the media and the public from Monday's shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in east Knoxville. Police said a 17-year-old student had a gun inside a school and was fatally shot in a confrontation with officers in a bathroom, but details of what authorities say happened have changed since the incident.

Community activists have demanded release of the footage.

A school resource officer was wounded by a gunshot, which the TBI said Wednesday did not come from the student's gun, raising the possibility that the officer could have been hit by police gunfire.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it will provide a report to the district attorney when its probe of the shooting is done, and the district attorney will decide whether to pursue charges against the officers. The investigation includes review of police body camera footage and school surveillance video.

Kincannon said she sought the release of video to provide transparency and because she thought “a greater understanding of the circumstances of this tragedy will help our city heal.” Kincannon said District Attorney General Charme Allen “respectfully declined."

“Allen explained that she made this decision in order to maintain the integrity of the on-going investigation and to protect the constitutional rights of anyone who might be charged,” Kincannon said in her tweet.

The mayor also said state law regarding the release of video of minors taken inside of a school and a court order governing release of police videos in Knox County complicate the situation.