Looks like the gloves are off now. From Knox County Sheriff’s Office candidate Bobby Waggoner, a release:
Waggoner Vows to Change Culture of Abuse
at Knox County Sheriff’s Office
KNOXVILLE, TN – In response to Saturday night’s illegal choking of a UT student by a senior Knox County Sheriff’s Officer, Candidate for Sheriff Bobby Waggoner today vowed that as Sheriff he will change the culture of abuse at the KCSO.“This weekend’s incident is yet another example of a problem officer who has been allowed to stay in the system. There are so many great officers working with the KCSO, but there are also a few that abuse their power – not just once, but time and time again – and they’re not being held accountable. This is a problem that starts at the top with the leadership of Sheriff J.J. Jones. This would not happen under my watch because I will hold officers accountable for their actions the first time.”
Officer Frank Phillips has been involved in other incidents in the past. Waggoner, who was previously the Chief of Detectives with the KCSO, had personally contacted internal affairs requesting they launch an investigation into Phillips after he pulled a gun on a citizen while off-duty, but ultimately no action was taken.
Saturday’s incident is part of a pattern at the KCSO under Sheriff J.J. Jones:
October 16, 2011 –Five deputies stopped a carload of teenagers and had the driver run in circles around a bat in exchange for not issuing a traffic citation. The incident was caught on video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFEqLl2V25k)
October 5, 2013 – Prior to a football game at the University of Tennessee, a KCSO employee seized tickets from two fans of the opposing team and gave them to UT fans.
Waggoner states, “It’s time for a change, and that’s why I’m running for Sheriff. The KCSO must set the highest standard of discipline and accountability for its officers. The citizens of Knox County look to us to serve and protect, not bully and intimidate.”