Equality before the law

Oh look, what a coincidence. Last April, a cop choked a guy while a bystander took pictures…and the cop was immediately fired.

Guess what the choked person isn’t. Besides dead.

Frank Phillips, a Knox County Sheriff’s officer, was fired Sunday night after a series of pictures taken by photographer John Messner were published in the Daily Mail in Britain. They showed an officer identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Phillips grabbing 21-year-old college student Jarod Dotson around the neck and squeezing him until he fell to his knees.

An officer identified by the Sheriff’s office as Frank Phillips is seen choking college student Jarod Dotson while he was being arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest. (John Messner)

You can see what the choked person isn’t.

The cops were called to a huge party (around 800 people) that had spilled into the street and gotten rowdy.

According to a police report, Dotson ignored repeated instructions to go inside, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. 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, a freelance photographer who documented the incident, told The Washington Post that Dotson showed no signs of resisting arrest.

Messner’s pictures show two officers cuffing Dotson’s hands behind his back when Phillips came over and choked Dotson until he collapsed to his knees. See the Post’s GIF of the sequence.

Dotson was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest, and Phillips was fired.

How about that.


  1. Anthony K says

    This is prolly old news, but…

    Sometimes cops do get indicted. Sometimes they don’t even have to go so far as to choke or kill someone to get indicted. Sometimes they’re indicted for striking unarmed civilians with their batons. Sometimes the prosecutor seeking the indictment is even St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

    Sometimes the cop in question is black.

  2. Anthony K says

    Messner’s pictures show two officers cuffing Dotson’s hands behind his back when Phillips came over and choked Dotson until he collapsed to his knees. See the Post’s GIF of the sequence.

    Watch that GIF. Do you see Officer Buzzcut (the one standing upright on the left in your still) looking over at Phillips choking Dotson, not reacting whatsoever, and going right back to cuffing him?

    There’s your ‘good cop’, all you white atheist libertarians who, in cases where the victim is black, all of a sudden realise how much you love cops and want to marry them all and have a million babies with them while you coo sweet nothings over what a hard job they have.

    And in case there’s someone out there who thinks this is some necessary restraint Phillips was using, I really doubt it. Without the other two officers holding and cuffing Dotson, Phillips would be opening himself up for an easy attack. I’ve been choked like that, and if your arms are free, you pretty much have an open shot right at your choker’s face while their hands are already occupied.

  3. Anthony K says

  4. Blanche Quizno says

    uh…Anthony K? In #3, what does being atheist have to do with having stirrings in one’s loins toward the police?

    I happen to be an atheist, a WHITE, progressive atheist who distrusts the police and avoids them at all opportunities, and who has taught my children and their friends to do the same.

    It seems to me that the anti-government-unless-I-am-benefiting-from-it-personally libertarians are FAR more likely to be Evangelical Christians than atheists. Just sayin’…

  5. says

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t atheist libertarians, Blanche. It doesn’t even mean there aren’t a lot of atheist libertarians. The fact that there are a lot of evangelical libertarians is quite compatible with there also being plenty of atheist libertarians.

    (And actually I think most evangelical “libertarians” aren’t – they’re big fans of God’s Own Free Market, but in most other ways they’re authoritarian as fuck.)

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