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Deputy fired after photos surface of student being choked during party arrest

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From WATE-TV

KNOXVILLE, TN -- The Knox County Sheriff's Office says they have fired the deputy involved in Saturday night's block party in Fort Sanders.

Frank Phillips, 47, has been with the Knox County Sheriff's Office since 1992.

A statement posted on the Sheriff's Office website reads:

"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."

Jarod Dotson, 21, who is seen in custody in the pictures, was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was released from jail on a $500 bond Sunday morning

The pictures released by the Daily Mail appear to show two officers detaining a man while another officer chokes him. The sequence of images appears to show the man falling to the ground after being choked.

Officers say about 800 people were at the party near the intersection of 23rd Street and Laurel Avenue. They say UT Police called the Sheriff for back up around 11:30 Saturday night. About 60 Knoxville Police, UT Police and Sheriff's Deputies were there, and about 15 people were arrested.

A video posted to Vine shows party goers chanting "It's great to be a Tennessee Vol" as authorities try to break it up.

In a YouTube video, you can see fireworks being set off at the party.

There's even a Twitter account which encourages students to post pictures like of last night's party.

"It was probably the biggest party I've ever seen here," said UT student Nicolas Oramas.

Oramas lives near where the party happened, and says it was under control until the police showed up.

"Everyone was just having a good time, no one was in an angry mood until the cops show up to bust the fun," Oramas said.

Another student, Julia Hardy says things quickly got out of hand.

"There were some people jumping on hoods of cars," Hardy said.

"When the cops showed up we saw people throwing bottles at their car, at cops," Oramas said.

But both students say they think authorities went too far to stop it.

"I feel like they just used excessive force, dogs tazing people, there's no point in that. If you're going to stop the party just stop it," Oramas said.

"I think that's why the students are getting in so much trouble because the police department has been so out of hand. I don't think the students are being as bad as the police department has been letting on," Hardy said.

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