Fired KCSO deputy involved in UT party arrests was demoted in 20

Fired KCSO deputy involved in UT party arrests was demoted in 2011

Frank Phillips (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Frank Phillips (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The former Knox County Sheriff’s deputy fired after photos surfaced from arrests made during a UT block party was demoted within the department in 2011.

Previous story: Sheriff's office fires deputy in Ft. Sanders party incident

Frank Phillips was fired from KCSO after photos revealed Phillips with his hands around the neck of Jarod Dotson, 21, while he was under arrest.

Read Phillips' termination letter [PDF]

6 News looked through Phillips’ personnel file and found that Phillips was demoted in 2011 from patrol sergeant to patrol officer in connection with a SWAT team response incident.

“Captain Palmer gave you a directive to hold your position and await SWAT team arrival before proceeding,” Sheriff JJ Jones wrote in a letter dated Oct. 3, 2011. “You disobeyed his directive and allowed your officers to make entry into a house suspected to be occupied by the shooter.”

Read the full letter [PDF]

Jones went on to call Phillips’ behavior “inexcusable and unprofessional.”

Prior to the 2011 incident, Phillips had several positive evaluations and won employee of the month in May 2002 and October 2008.

According to Dotson's arrest warrant, Deputy Brandon Gilliam writes that Phillips applied a pressure point to Dotson's ear area after Dotson resisted arrest.

It goes on to say Phillips told him to get down on his knees, and once Dotson complied, restraints were put on his wrists and pressure was relieved from his ears.

6 News caught up with Phillips Monday, but he refused to answer questions about the photos showing him with his hands around Jarod Dotson’s neck. Phillips only said he now has an attorney and declined to comment any further.

Jarod Dotson

According to UT’s website, Dotson won an Architecture and Design Division Award earlier this month for the Chapter of American Institute of Architecture.

Dotson also helped create a wheelchair for a special needs child, according to UT’s website.

KCSO and the Knoxville Police Department said Dotson did not have a criminal history with the department prior to his arrest this weekend.

6 News tried reaching out to Dotson but has not heard back yet.

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