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Knoxville Cop Fired After Choking College Student Unconscious At UT Block Party

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Let’s get right to it. The photos of Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Phillips choking out a handcuffed, unresisting college student are downright disgusting. John Messner, a freelance photographer from Knoxville, captured the incident. His photos were then posted to Daily Mail. They clearly show Phillips’ hands around the neck of University of Tennessee student Jarod Dotson, angrily choking him until he becomes lifeless and his legs give out underneath him.

You can see the photos HERE.

Frank Phillips, 47, was immediately fired after being ruled “unsuitable for continued employment,” which is the professional way of saying “this guy is a piece of shit and a disgrace to the force.” Phillips had been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1992.


Jarod Dotson, 21, was drinking from a cup “that had an odor of an alcoholic beverage.” He was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was released the following morning on a $500 bond.

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.’

Messner, the photographer who captured the event, tells a different story.

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.

Drunk and unruly, according to the police report. Compliant and passive, according to an eye-witness. It’s hard to side with either party without seeing the incident firsthand, but either way, Dotson was choked out by an asshole–an asshole who was justifiably given his walking papers.

Back to the “drunk and unruly” thing. As you can see in the below tweets, photos, and videos (and through the well-documented Twitter account @UTKBlockparty) the whole damn scene seemed to fall under this description, making the police report’s account of Dotson’s behavior slightly more believable.

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College, man.

[via Daily Mail]

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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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