Tenn. Cop Choked Student Until His Knees Buckled

Photos capture incident at University of Tennessee party
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2014 11:18 AM CDT
Tenn. Cop Choked Student Until His Knees Buckled
A sheriff's deputy was fired after photos appeared to show him choking a student.   (?)

A Knox County, Tenn., sheriff's deputy has been swiftly fired after photos appeared online showing him choking a college student to the point that the 21-year-old's knees buckled. Student Jarod Dotson has been charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest—but the freelance photographer who caught the Saturday night incident on camera says the University of Tennessee architecture major didn't put up a fight as he was handcuffed and choked. The Daily Mail first ran the photos. "I believe excessive force was used in this incident," Sheriff Jimmy Jones said in a statement per the Washington Post. Deputy Frank Phillips' employment with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, which began in 1992, has been "terminated immediately" and the case referred to the Knox County Attorney General’s Office.

According to the police report, Dotson wasn't complying with "repeated instructions" to go indoors; eventually, he "began to physically resist officers' instructions to place his hands behind his back, and at one point grabbed on to an officer's leg." The photographer tells the Mail that after the choking, police lifted Dotson off the ground—and Phillips slapped him around the head. The scene was a block party near the university where some 800 people had gathered, WATE reports; officers responded to a reported disturbance. One student says partiers threw beer bottles at police cars, while other students say officers used excessive force in ending the party. (More Tennessee stories.)

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