KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WBIR) - The Knox County Sheriff's Office announced Sunday night it had fired the officer seen in photographs using excessive force during a massive UT party bust the night before.
The firing came after The Daily Mail published a series of photos that it claimed showed a "deputy choking a student into unconsciousness."
Dozens of law enforcement personnel were called in to bust a massive party with hundreds of people in attendance in the Fort Sanders area late Saturday night, according to the Knoxville Police Department.
KPD said the University of Tennessee Police Department received the initial disturbance report and called KPD and the Knox County Sheriff's Office for assistance.
KCSO said an investigation found Officer Frank Phillips, 47, used excessive force during the incident and is terminated immediately. A statement from Sheriff J.J. Jones said the investigation will now be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General's Office to determine any further action.
Phillip's had been with KCSO since 1992.
Authorities identified the man seen being taken into custody in the photos as 21-year-old Jarod Dotson. He was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. KCSO said he was released from jail on a $500 bond Sunday morning.
On Sunday, a twitter account was made asking people to submit their block party stories, pictures and videos (@UTKBlockparty).
Party witnesses said people were initially on the lawn, but then people moved into the streets.
According to KPD, authorities had been called in to clear the streets when the crowd became unruly, including some throwing beer bottles.
KPD said 60 officers were on scene and about 15 people were arrested.
KPD told 10News it estimated around 800 people were at the party.
Here's the full statement about the firing from Sheriff Jones:
"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."