Monday, April 28, 2014

Tennessee Sheriff's Deputy FIRED After He Was Caught On Camera Choking An Unresisting College Student Until He Passed Out

Frank Phillips, 47, was found 'unsuitable for continued employment' by Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones
More photos after break

Deputies were called to a University of Tennessee student party that spilled out onto a residential street

Students threw beer bottles at officers and several people were arrested
A photographer on the scene took a series of photos of a deputy choking 21-year-old Jarod Dotson into unconsciousness

The young man did not resist arrest, says the photographer, but police disagree

He was complying with officers when the officer began to choke him

Two other officers were behind Dotson, handcuffing him

A sheriff's deputy in Knox County, Tennessee has been fired after he was caught on camera allegedly choking a university student Saturday night.

Frank Phillips, 47, was been found 'unsuitable for continued employment,' according to a termination notice posted Sunday night on the Knox County Sheriff's Office's website.

'In my 34 years of law enforcement experience, excessive force has never been tolerated. After an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, I believe excessive force was used in this incident,' Sheriff Jimmy 'J.J.' Jones said.

'Therefore, Officer Phillips' employment with the Knox County Sheriff's Office is terminated immediately.'

Jones added that the investigation will now be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General's Office to determine any further action.

John Messner, a freelance photographer in Knoxville, captured Phillips with both hands around the neck of University of Tennessee student Jarod Dotson in Fort Sanders after a party. The 21-year-old can be seen falling to his knees after the man's grip apparently renders him unconscious.

Phillips has been with the Sheriff's Office since 1992. Dotson, of Powell, is an architecture major at the college.

Authorities say Dotson was publicly intoxicated and drinking from a cup 'that had an odor of an alcoholic beverage' at 23rd Street and Laurel Avenue, when he was arrested.

He was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was released Sunday morning on a $500 bond, the sheriff's office said.

The report said Dotson ignored 'repeated instructions' to go inside and apparently 'began to physically resist officers' instructions to place his hands behind his back, and at one point grabbed on to an officer's leg.'

University of Tennessee Police officers called for backup after the party 'became unruly' and some of the approximately 800 partygoers began throwing beer bottles, Knoxville Police Department Sgt. Mike McCarter told

UT student Nicolas Oramas told of the party: 'When the cops showed up we saw people throwing bottles at their cars. They had police dogs out there.'

His officers responded at 11:56 p.m. to the 'disturbance,' which was spilling into the street.

McCarter said estimated 60 officers from three agencies were present at the party, where at least 10 people were arrested and charged with public intoxication and/or disorderly conduct.

Messner captured the frightening moment in a sequence of photographs that show the young man complying with Knox County deputies as they lead him to a police van at the University of Tennessee, before an officer uses two hands to choke the student until he is unconscious.

Dotson was arrested, along with a number of friends, during a wild college party celebrating after a week of finals.

Police were called to clear the area at the intersection of 21st and Laurel Streets in Fort Sanders, an area with a high concentration of college students.
According to photographer John Messner, some college students began to throw beer bottles at police, who called for backup from the Knox County Sheriff's office.

Dotson was arrested and handcuffed, then walked a block to a waiting police van at the University of Tennessee.

He went willingly and did not resist arrest, said Messner.

When they got to the police van, the arresting deputy's handcuffs were removed from the young man's wrists and replaced with cuffs from the vehicle.

During the brief moment his wrists were uncuffed, Dotson let his arms fall by his sides.

As two officers twist his arms behind his back, another deputy walks in front of the young man and wraps his hands around his neck.

The disturbing sequence of shots show the 21-year-old appear to lose consciousness, his knees buckling as he sinks to the ground, while the deputy continues to choke him or activate a pressure point that renders him unconscious.

The officers behind Dotson fiddle with his handcuffs even as he's being choked.

When the young man was unconscious, the police picked him up and the officer who choked him slapped him around the head a few times before walking off, reports Messner.

All three officers are Knox County deputies assisting the Knoxville Police Department.

In 2011, Knoxville County officers stopped a carload of teenagers and forced them to run in circles around a bat he kept in the trunk of the car.

Sherriff Jimmy 'JJ' Jones demoted the five officers involved in the incident.

Jones' action in disciplining the officers was well-received by the community. 

He's now up for re-election, with early voting already taking place.


No comments:

Post a Comment