Fired Tennessee deputy takes early retirement

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee deputy who was fired after the publication of a photo that appears to show him choking a suspect has decided to take early retirement.

The Knoxville News Sentinel ( reports that documents dated Thursday show that 47-year-old Frank Phillips chose to take “deferred retirement” instead of appealing his firing.

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy Jones terminated Phillips on April 27, saying he believes Phillips used “excessive force” while arresting a college student.

Phillips’ attorney, Don Bosch, says the former deputy denies using excessive force and is looking for other employment.

The newspaper reports that freelance photographer John Messner took photos of the arrest that first appeared on the website of the U.K. Daily Mail. The caption says the deputy, whose hands appear to be around the suspect’s neck, rendered the student unconscious.