Deputy who choked TN student opts for early retirement instead of fighting termination

A Tennessee deputy who lost his job after published photos showed him choking a college student during an arrest decided to take early retirement.

Former Knox County sheriff’s deputy Frank Phillips chose Thursday to take “deferred retirement” rather than appeal his firing, reported the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Sheriff Jimmy Jones fired the 47-year-old Phillips on April 27, just hours after photos taken by a freelance photographer showed the veteran law enforcement officer placing a University of Tennessee student in a choke hold.

The 21-year-old student, Jarod Dotson, fell to his knees and went unconscious after the deputy choked him during an arrest following a house party that drew about 800 people.

The sheriff said Phillips, a Knox county sheriff’s deputy since 1992, used excessive force.

The former deputy’s attorney said Phillips denied using excessive force and was looking for other work.