Knoxville, TN – The mother who called the police to Austin-East High School on April 12 after 17-year-old Anthony Thompson beat up her daughter on campus again said she regretted her decision, blamed police, and called for “justice” for Thompson in the wake of his death.
Thompson was fatally shot by Knoxville police and a school resource officer was shot when police tried to take him into custody in a school bathroom.
Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen held a press conference on April 22 and walked the media through the bodycam videos of all four officers who were present when Thompson was shot.
Allen spent more than two hours walking reporters through the bodycam videos and most of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) report on the shooting.
“This is a self-defense case,” she told reporters. “At the end of the day, we have found the shooting by Officer Clabough was justified.”
The mother whose 911 call brought officers to Austin-East High School has said that she regretted having called police on Thompson and blamed the school for letting the situation between her daughter and her boyfriend get so out of hand.
Regina Perkins gave an interview to the Knoxville News Sentinel in which she said that her daughter, Alexus Page, called her from the office at school and got permission to come home that day after she was attacked by Thompson, her former boyfriend of about nine months.
Perkins said that her daughter had scratches on her face and was missing chunks of hair, so she called the police and reported the incident.
The mother said that Thompson had been subjecting her daughter to mental abuse and domestic violence over a period of time and that’s why she sent police to the school the day he was shot.
She said she had tried to call Thompson’s mother first but she didn’t answer, and she also texted Thompson and warned him she was sending the police to the school.
Allen revealed during the press conference that Page’s mother had exchanged vitriolic text messages with Thompson for more than an hour leading up to the shooting.
Perkins has since joined the cadre of outraged parents who have accused the police of withholding information in the case, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
“As far as the events go, you know, I do apologize to the family,” Perkins said in an interview in front of the high school. “There was an altercation and I did make a police report, they did come down here to make an arrest for domestic assault on my daughter.”
“She wasn’t even willing to cooperate but as a mother, I was just tired. I wanted them to take a break but I never meant for anything to happen to him,” she insisted to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“I never meant for any of this to happen,” Perkins said. “I’m sorry. And hopefully we get justice in this case for Anthony. He was definitely, definitely a good kid.”
She has defended her daughter’s abusive former boyfriend as “a good kid with dreams” and pointed the finger at Austin-East High School for not having done something about ongoing “altercations” between Page and Thompson on campus, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
“A lot of times mental abuse, it’s like it gets ignored,” the mother explained. “You know, we’re screaming for help for these kids. We’re looking for these schools to help protect them where I feel like they failed to do so.”
“They didn’t protect my child against the altercations that kept taking place at Austin-East,” she said. “They didn’t protect Anthony. I mean this is a complete and total tragedy and we’re all suffering as a community because we’ve lost so many children.”
Then she put the responsibility back on Austin-East High School for not keeping Page and Thompson apart.
“I feel like if after the first suspension happened or the first altercation happened on school property, that if they had have intervened or done a little bit more to help keep them apart. Although it’s not their job – I understand that – but when there’s a situation with safety, I feel like they should definitely have took it more serious,” Perkins told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“They were fine together,” she insisted after having revealed Thompson’s prior domestic violence acts against her teen daughter.
“They really enjoyed and had [a] good time,” Perkins said. “I feel like they may have had a couple of issues and my daughter said that they were petty arguments that she wished that she could take back. And she still calls him. She loves him. And all she wanted to do was help. She just wanted him to get help.”
“She normalized the relationship a lot just because its abuse that she’s witnessed,” she explained. “And that I take responsibility for and feel awful for. And that’s more that reason that I felt like I had to stand up for her. Because she wasn’t going to do it herself. And I regret making that call now. I wish we could have dealt with it differently.”