Police Force

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There are trends that seem to pick up every year whether it’s celebrity drug overdoses, scandals involving some religious or financial dispute or a racial quote has been released only to create a debate about discrimination. But what happens when the trend this time is law enforcement is the one doing the rebelling and causing concern for cities and communities?

Just recently, a Knox county deputy was photographed strangling a detainee, Jarod Dotson, until he fell unconscious to his knees. In the reports, The Washington Post published 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.”

Strangely enough, an individual taking a stream of pictures while this event was happening shows no sign of resistance or rebellion from the student toward the officials. It does, however, display the Knox deputy placing his hands on Dotson and choking him until he falls unconscious.

I usually am not one to question authority’s decisions, especially when it comes to breaking up house parties. Let’s be honest people, the fuzz coming to bust a party disgruntles more than a few belligerently drunk individuals. However, I don’t think that’s a reason for subjects to become violent or disrespectful towards cops, and that certainly should work just as well once the tables are turned.

In a press release last Sunday, Sheriff Jones declared: “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.” He also mentions that the department is purchasing officer-worn body cameras to document arrests and security purposes for the cop as well as any citizen.

Although Officer Phillips was fired from the county, will his actions have legal consequences? It leaves the question on the table for who is hired as policemen and policewomen and what credentials are required. That also leaves questioning open for how many other individuals have experienced excessive force and violence from law enforcement, but had no proof. Although law officers are sought after for protection and safety, this is one blunder that may leave us thinking otherwise.

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