Campbell County, TN – A woman has filed a $100,000 lawsuit against a Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) trooper who she claimed groped her during an frisk in August of 2017.
The highway patrol released dashcam footage of the incident, as well as a second stop the trooper initiated on the same vehicle approximately three hours later.
Wilson claimed that Trooper Lloyd put his hands inside of her waistband, and that he touched her genitals and buttocks.
On Thursday, Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler announced that he had reviewed footage of both traffic stops, and that no criminal charges would be filed against the trooper, Knox News reported.
However, Effler also noted that he believed that “Trooper Lloyd’s actions were inconsistent with his training and Tennessee Department of Safety general orders.”
Effler also dismissed a seatbelt citation that the trooper had issued to Wilson at the time of the initial stop.
“Our review of this matter 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 said in the statement.
“After careful consideration and review, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Command Staff has advised me that Trooper Isaiah Lloyd conducted this traffic stop in a professional manner in an effort to protect the motoring public," Corporal Tracy Trott said of the department’s findings.
“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,” Cpl. Trott explained in a statement. “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,” he said. “The technique that Trooper Lloyd used during the traffic stop will be addressed internally."
If Trooper Lloyd did run his fingertips on the inside of Wilson's waistband, a common frisk mistake, that would have transformed the frisk into a search; the highway patrol didn't specify that's what happened.
Cpl. Trott placed Trooper Lloyd back on patrol duty, and said he would not speak of the matter again due to the pending civil lawsuit.
“I believe the civil suit to be without merit,” Cpl. Trott said.
In the lawsuit, Wilson claimed that the trooper ordered her out of her vehicle “without just cause” after pulling her over for a seatbelt violation, Knox News reported.
Trooper Lloyd’s attorney, James Bell, explained that Wilson’s “eyes were pinpointed” at the time of the initial contact, and that she had admitted to taking a prescribed sleep aid.
The video showed Trooper Lloyd as he asked Wilson if she had used any prescription medication.
When she denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the trooper asked her to step out of the vehicle, and performed the pat down before he asked her to perform a series of field sobriety tests.
“Her hands were on the hood of the car for officer safety, which is what they’re trained to do. Trooper’s foot is between the suspect’s [feet] to keep them from running,” Bell said, as he described Trooper Lloyd’s interaction with Wilson.
The trooper then asked Wilson if she had any drugs hidden inside her bra. She said she did not, and then pulled her shirt away from her chest while shaking her upper body.
Trooper Lloyd ultimately issued Wilson a citation for driving without a seatbelt, and sent her on her way.
Approximately three hours later, the trooper initiated a second stop on Wilson’s vehicle due to a window tint violation.
Although the dashcam equipment functioned properly during both stops, the battery on Trooper Lloyd’s microphone failed during his shift, and did not record during the second interaction with Wilson, who remained in her vehicle.
He did not issue any additional citations.
“Don’t condemn this gentleman until you know the rest of the story,” Bell said. “He has done nothing wrong.”
Trooper Lloyd, an Iraq veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division, has been with the THP since February of 2015, Knox News reported.
Watch Trooper Lloyd’s interactions with Wilson in the video below: