The Daily Grind Video

So this appalling thing happened.

On Saturday night, Frank Phillips, a Knox County Sheriff officer, responded to a party at the University of Tennessee after it became “unruly” and some of the 800 partygoers allegedly began throwing beer bottles.

On the scene, Phillips, along with two other officers, grabbed a 21-year-old college student and threw him in handcuffs. But what happened next got Phillips fired immediately.

John Messner, a photographer, took pictures of Phillips squeezing student Jarod Dotson’s neck until he fell to his knees, unconscious. You can watch a gif of the brutal attack above.

Messner’s still pictures, arranged by The Post in the GIF above, show two officers cuffing Dotson’s hands behind his back when Phillips came over and choked Dotson until he collapsed to his knees. Messner said that as Dotson was being pulled up he was smacked in the back of the head, “a snap-out-of-it kinda smack under the circumstances.”

The police report said that Dotson ignored repeated instructions to go inside. Deputy Brandon Gilliam wrote in the official report that Dotson “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, however, disputes that report, telling the Washington Post that Dotson showed no signs of resisting arrest. And the well-documented pictures back up his story.

Phillips, 47, was found ‘unsuitable for continued employment,’ according to a termination notice posted Sunday night on the Knox County Sheriff 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. The investigation will now be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General’s Office to determine any further action, said Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.

As for the victim, he was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. Dotson was later released from jail on a $500 bond Sunday morning. And, save for the brutal assault, this story ends like many others don’t…without death and with immediate termination.


SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Messner