On March 5th, the Tennessee Highway Patrol released video footage of an alleged groping by one of their officers during a traffic stop. The THP cleared the officer of criminal wrongdoing, but said that he acted in a way that was “inconsistent with his training.” Patricia Aileen Wilson alleges that, on August 16th of 2017, THP trooper Isaiah Lloyd searched her without legal cause, groped her, and used the address from her driver’s license to stop her on her way home several hours later.
During the first stop, Lloyd pulled Wilson over because she was missing a seatbelt, then asked her if she had taken any prescription drugs. Wilson responded, “No drugs, no alcohol, nothing.” Lloyd then ordered her to step out of the car and bend over on the hood, and video footage shows him putting his fingers inside the waistband of her shorts during the search.
Wilson says that she went back to the vehicle crying after being given a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt, too afraid of being arrested to say anything to Lloyd.
Three hours later, Lloyd stopped Wilson on her way home, when she had her 3 and 8-year-old children in the car with her. According to Wilson, Lloyd initially said, “We have to stop meeting like this,” but changed his tune once he realized that her children were in the car with her. Lloyd’s microphone was not recording during the second stop, which he claimed was due to dead batteries. When pressed to remember the details of the stop, Lloyd claimed that he didn’t remember anything specific. Earlier records show that Lloyd was taken to task by his superiors a year ago when his microphone wasn’t recording during a confrontation with a suspect who fled from him. Wilson (below) has also been orally disciplined three times since the Wilson stops.
In January, Wilson (below) filed a $100,000 civil lawsuit against Lloyd for sexual harassment. After the THP had a chance to review the footage of the two stops. THP Col. Tracy Trott released a statement saying that Lloyd “conducted this traffic stop in a professional manner in an effort to protect the motoring public.” Trott said that the video suggested that “Trooper Lloyd conducted a search for contraband,” and that “the technique that Trooper Lloyd used during the traffic stop will be addressed internally.” She concluded the statement by saying that the civil suit was “without merit.” The THP was initially reluctant to release video footage of the stops to the public and only released them in early March.
Campbell County District Attorney Jared Effler said that the footage “revealed that Trooper Lloyd’s actions were inconsistent with his training,” and that his review of the stops “has been forwarded to Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security David Purkey, along with a request that the findings of our review be reviewed with Trooper Lloyd to prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Effler dropped the seatbelt conviction against Wilson but said he did not believe that he could mount a criminal case against Lloyd for sexual battery. Lloyd was placed back on active duty after the THP’s internal review.
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