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Cop Fired After Being Caught Choking Handcuffed, Unresisting Student Until He Passed Out

A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he was recorded on camera choking a student who was being handcuffed until he was unconscious.

According to his termination notice, 47-year-old Frank Phillips has been found “unsuitable for continued employment.”

Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said “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. Therefore, Office Phillips’ employment with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is terminated immediately.”

The incident was caught by Knoxville freelance photographer John Messner who captured Phillips choking and rendering a 21-year-old student unconscious while the student was being handcuffed and seemingly fully cooperative.

The student had been arrested for public intoxication after police said his cup “had an odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Though the student, Jarod Dotson, appears compliant during the arrest, police say he ignored “repeated instructions” to go inside the house and “began to physically resist officers.”

This happened at a party to celebrate the end of finals week being attended by 800 people, who police say became unruly. One student says “When the cops showed up we saw people throwing bottles at their cars. They had police dogs out there.”

Reports say about 60 cops had to be called in and 10 people were arrested.

According to Messner, who captured images from much of the night, Dotson was not resisting and went willingly. He says Phillips choked him while the other cops were putting handcuffs on him, then they picked him up after he blacked out and slapped him on the head.


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Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh