Criminal charges dismissed against UT student shown in April blo

Criminal charges dismissed against UT student shown in April block party choking photo

Jarod Dotson (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Jarod Dotson (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Charges have been dismissed against a UT student who was arrested at a block party in April. Pictures of that arrest captured national attention showing a deputy with his hands around that student's throat.

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

Jarod Dotson's attorney told 6 News he did nothing wrong, he's never been in trouble before, and both are relieved his pending criminal charges were dismissed Wednesday.

"Mr. Dotson really wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in his own home and was standing on his own front porch," said his attorney Tasha Blakney.

In court Wednesday, his public intoxication and resisting arrest charges were dismissed.

"The evidence showed that Mr. Dotson did not commit a crime and that there was no wrong-doing to punish. So the decision was to drop those charges and not further add insult to injury," added Blakney.

She adds Dotson is feeling relieved and grateful. So did the picture of a deputy with his hands around Dotson's throat help his defense?

"Without that picture I think the charges would have been dropped because I think it was the right thing to do. The picture really brings home how much Dotson has been through," said Blakney.

Blakney also represents six other people who were arrested at the party, we've learned most of them have either had charges dismissed or they've entered pleas.

Blakney adds Dotson is ready to move forward after a party that changed many lives, "Certainly Mr. Dotson is going to keep his options open and consider a possible civil suit."
It's important to mention before his arrest, Dotson did not have a criminal history with either the Knoxville Police Department or the Sheriff's Office. According to the District Attorney's Office, charges were dropped against Dotson because of the lack of evidence and proof. 

We also reached out to KCSO who told us they have nothing to add to this case.

Previous story: 2 more Knox County deputies placed on leave after Ft. Sanders party

Knox County Sheriff JJ Jones fired Deputy Frank Phillips after photos of his hands around Dotson's neck were released. Sheriff Jones called it a case of "excessive force." Deputies Brandon Gilliam and Ronald Chaperon were also placed on administrative leave but later returned to the force.

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