Tennessee Officer Shown Choking An Unresisting Student Into Unconsciousness

article-2614386-1D67E04400000578-766_634x422There is a highly disturbing story and photos out of Tennessee where a police officer is shown choking a college student, Jarod Dotson, 22, who does not appear to be resisting. The police had been called to a party at the University of Tennessee and police reported that bottles were thrown at officers. However, in this picture, there appears no risk or resistance for the officer, Deputy Sheriff Frank Phillips.

article-2614386-1D68EA2700000578-350_306x423Dotson (right) was reportedly choked into unconsciousness but it is hard to tell from the photos. What is clear is that at least two officers watch as he is choked. Reports indicate that when the end of finals party got out of hand the Knox County Sheriff’s office was called in. Witnesses said that Dotson was handcuffed and walked to a van without resisting. It was at the van that the arresting deputy’s handcuffs were replaced. At the time of the choking, he was under the complete control of officers. Students say that he passed out and was picked up and slapped around by the officers.

article-2614386-1D698FEA00000578-680_306x423The officer has been identified as Frank Phillips and he has been fired. The department declared that he is “unsuitable for continued employment.” However, that leaves two rather obvious outstanding issues. First, why has Phillips not been arrested for an assault on this student? Usually when people choke others into unconsciousness, there is a criminal charge is there not?

Second, what about the other two officers who just seem to watch? Did they intervene somehow to stop the assault? Did they report the assault immediately? Will they face disciplined?

The fast move by the department is commendable but it occurred after the release of photographs. While police and prosecutors have been arresting or threatening citizens who film police, these photos are the only thing that elevated this case from a simple dispute with an officer or officers.

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Source: Daily Mail

56 thoughts on “Tennessee Officer Shown Choking An Unresisting Student Into Unconsciousness”

  1. ‘Bambuser’ and ‘Dropbox’
    Every smartphone should have these apps for AUTOMATIC cloud storage. Know how they work, make sure your cellphone is password protected, and never worry that you video/audio/pictures are deleted or destroyed.

  2. the only thing that stops a bad cop with a gun is a good cop with a gun. (not)

    more often, anyone with a cellphone who won’t be intimidated into deleting the video.

    1. pete – there is an app that I have added to my cellphone that automatically sends everything recorded to “the cloud.” Who cares if they erase the phone, I still have it. 🙂

  3. The cop that Mumia Abu Jamal was convicted of killing was one of the “good” cops who was trying to keep things clean. It was dirty cops and a racist judge that convicted Mumia.

  4. Unfortunately, at least in these three images posted here, the metadata has been stripped, so there’s no record of sequence, camera type, lens, aperture, shutter speed, etc., all of which normally show. I view these via Adobe’s Bridge application, a companion app to Photoshop, and there’s nothing there. It is possible however, that the WordPress theme used for this site stripped out the metadata.

  5. The Sheriff’s opponent is a former detective, in the dept. who is running on poor supervision by the Sherriff. This footage will be in Det. Waggoner’s next ad.

  6. Mespo, Either the Sheriff is a rare example of righteous, or he is coming up for reelection.

  7. Sheriff “JJ” Jones statement:
    “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, Officer Phillips’ employment with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is terminated immediately. The investigation will now be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General’s Office to determine any further action.”
    “This incident provides a perfect example of why we are in the process of purchasing officer worn body cameras (video and audio recordings) so incidents like this will be fully documented.”

  8. Bruce,

    Good point. Looking at 3 photos? Video and audio action preferred .

    Remember when Sen. John Kerry was speaking at UF.
    3-2-1….Action, “Don’t tase me bro”.

  9. Bruce,
    Every digital camera and cell phone camera has detailed information embedded in the picture. You can’t see it, but access it by right clicking. It is easy enough to tell the sequence. If you have photos on your computer, right click on one of them, and when the window opens, click “Properties.” If you want to see all the information embedded in the image, click the “Details” tab.

  10. The Stones had it right: “…every cop is a criminal….”

    Just saying!

  11. How do you know what order the pictures were taken? In the third picture he’s not unconscious, he’s looking straight ahead, If the third picture was the first Phillips could have been picking him up. Or Dotson seeing the camera could have just slumped down on purpose. I’m not saying it didn’t happen the way they say it did I just want more evidence. You would think cops in a college town would be used to handling these situations and not use illegal force when
    making an arrest.

  12. I’m glad Frankie “the choker” Phillips got his pink handed to him and was told to hit the bricks. The two silent restrainers need their pinks also. Does anyone not realize the importance of cameras and video now? It is truly abhorrent what actions are right there in plain view, another case of cop rage. Phillips needs to be criminally charged, he just killed another Officer Friendly.

  13. America land of the free: leading the world in “guard labor.”



    “It’s a fascinating article and one that should at least make people stop and wonder just what in the hell is going on here in the land ‘o the free. The authors speculate about the effect of inequality and how that leads to a need to “guard the store.” And I’m sure that’s at the heart of much of this.

    But there are other factors that make us unusual. There is the huge military manufacturing sector that is creating a market for its goods. You see police forces turning themselves into para-military operations all over the country. Half the medium size towns in America look like they’re being guarded by the Delta Force these days instead of your old fashioned beat cop.”

  14. Nick Spinelli

    I will continue to say, cops have simply not adjusted to the ubiquity of cameras in our culture.

    Or their own symbolic racism.

    That is why they are trained to say the PC (police conversation) stuff.

    They need training on that.

    And also OC (on camera) deceit techniques.

    Otherwise, how can they continue to catapult the propergander?

  15. ARtP

    Who ever said doing the right thing is easy?
    A right-wing nut job doing the wrong thing?

  16. Nick Spinelli

    Justice, You have no idea the pressure good cops are under to keep their mouths shut…
    Prison guards know the things.

    The only problem is that there is no such thing as a good cop who keeps his or her mouth shut when they witness a crime committed their presence.

    They are bad cops who are co-conspirators, accessories, and/or accomplices to a crime.

  17. This is a movie set for an Anthony Hopkins movie … right?

    He is going to strangle then eat the kid … right?


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