Tennessee Trooper Allowed to Resign in Wake of Sexual Assault

Tennessee highway patrolman accused of improperly touching female driver resigns

Tennessee Trooper Allowed to Resign in Wake of Sexual Assault
Trooper in groping lawsuit defends search of woman, multiple stops, investigative files reveal.

Tennessee trooper, Highway Patrolman Isaiah T. Lloyd, has been allowed to resign after being accused of improperly touching a female driver during a traffic stop a prosecutor has labeled legally suspect. It came down to either resignation or termination. What is just coming to light however, is the numerous times the trooper has been in trouble and run afoul of department policies leading up to his resignation.

Tennessee Trooper Allowed to Resign in Wake of Sexual Assault
State Trooper Isaiah Lloyd.

Lloyd, a Tennessee trooper since 2015, tendered his resignation over termination in October state personnel records reveal. Before his resignation, Lloyd was reprimanded numerous times and repeatedly failed to “properly do his job”.

It was Patricia Wilson who blew the lid on the incompetence of department personnel holding their officers accountable.

In August of last year, Lloyd stopped Patricia Wilson driving a Chevy pickup on Interstate 75 in Campbell County. Her mother was riding with her. During the traffic stop, Lloyd stuck his fingers down Wilson’s low-waisted shorts. He later told investigators he was searching her for a weapon. State authorities, however, said he appeared to be searching for drug contraband.

He found neither.

Wilson accused the trooper of touching her inappropriately.

Lloyd defended the stop insisting he was doing what he was trained to do when he put his hand inside Wilson’s shorts. THP commanders who trained him told supervisors he was mistaken.

“(Sgt. Steve Sakarapanee) stated Trooper Lloyd was not taught to check the inside of a suspect’s waistband as part of a pat down,” Sgt. Shannon Brinkley wrote in a report.

The Tennessee trooper also made her take several field sobriety tests, and he questioned her about whether she’d taken drugs. The stop lasted roughly 16 minutes ending with the woman driving away after getting a ticket for failure to produce vehicle registration. Hours later, however, Lloyd stopped her again at a different location. Wilson filed a complaint with the state in January, complaining he’d gone too far in touching her.

Lloyd insisted he did not know Wilson was behind the wheel when he stopped her a second time. Dashcam video shows that Lloyd was parked alongside the road near Wilson’s home. It was dark. Immediately after Wilson’s truck passed Lloyd’s cruiser, he made a U-turn and caught up to the truck, footage showed.
“What drew your attention to it?” Smith asked.

“The window tint,” Lloyd said, describing it as “limo tint,” nearly opaque.

Lloyd already had told Smith he could see – though not clearly – through the rear windshield of Wilson’s truck when he stopped her the first time.

Smith asked Lloyd why his microphone wasn’t recording during the second stop. He denied turning it off but complained “the batteries die all the time.”

In February state authorities announced they cleared Lloyd of wrongdoing.

Tennessee Trooper Allowed to Resign in Wake of Sexual Assault
Patricia Wilson, a Campbell County woman who was allegedly groped by THP trooper Isaiah Lloyd, speaks publicly about her experience for the first time at Herbert S. Moncier’s office in Knoxville, Tennessee on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel)

“The Command Staff, including females Major Cheryl Sanders and Lt. Stacey Heatherly, reviewed the traffic stop video cautiously and carefully several times to determine if Trooper Lloyd had acted inappropriately with Ms. Wilson,” a February 14 statement from Col. Tracy Trott reads.

“Along with the Command Staff, I concurred after thorough review of the video that Trooper Lloyd did not act inappropriately with Ms. Wilson. It appears that Trooper Lloyd conducted a search for contraband instead of a pat down for weapons. The technique that Trooper Lloyd used during the traffic stop will be addressed internally.”

Wilson did not back down filing a second claim August in Campbell County against Lloyd.

Throughout this ordeal Lloyd was unable to stay out of trouble.

In July, he was reprimanded and put on a one-day unpaid suspension.

Records show the Tennessee trooper failed repeatedly in February-April 2018 to show up for a report date with the Anderson County grand jury despite being warned.

In September and November of 2017, he’d been given an “oral warning” for unsatisfactory job performance, according to a note from Commissioner David Purkey.

“Trooper Lloyd, your current actions will not be accepted or tolerated,” the disciplinary memo states.

It added that any future incidents would result in “more severe disciplinary action.”

In addition to the Campbell County Circuit Court complaint, for which Wilson is seeking up to $250,000 in compensatory damages, she also has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court.