Update: Sheriff Fires Cop Who Choked Student

Robby Soave Reporter
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The Knox County Sheriff’s Office promptly fired a deputy who choked a 23-year-old University of Tennessee student to the point of unconsciousness.

The student, Jared Dotson, was not resisting arrest when the brutality occurred.

Sheriff J.J. Jones made the decision to fire 47-year-old Frank Phillips within 24 hours of the incident. Excessive force would not be tolerated, he said.

“In my 34 years of law enforcement experience, excessive force has never been tolerated,” he said in a statement to WBIR. “After an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, I believe excessive force was used in this incident.”

Two other deputies involved in the incident were place on leave. The Knox County Attorney General will make the determination whether further action — including possible criminal charges–is appropriate. (RELATED: Shocking pics: UT cop choked student until he passed out)

UT students were celebrating the end of the semester on Saturday, and a street party eventually became rowdy. Some students allegedly threw beer bottles at cop cars. Dotson was one of several students arrested for his involvement.

He was quietly restrained, and did not fight back as he was handcuffed and led to a cop car. That’s when Phillips wrapped his arm around Dotson’s neck and choked him until he passed out.

Freelance photographer John Messner snapped several pictures of the incident as it happened. They were later published by The Daily Mail.

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