Campbell County, TN – Dash Cam footage was released that shows a Tennessee state trooper running his hands down a woman’s waist and inside the waistband of her shorts as he claimed to check for drugs during a traffic stop. However, he initially pulled her over for failing to wear a seatbelt and had no reason to suspect that she was armed or posing a threat to anyone.
The same officer’s Dash Cam then shows him parking his vehicle across the street from the woman’s house three hours later, and pulling her over again as she returned home—this time he claimed to cite another minor infraction he had not noticed earlier, but the battery on his microphone conveniently “died” during the encounter.
Patricia Aileen Wilson is now filing a lawsuit against State Trooper Isaiah Lloyd, claiming that he conducted a search without legal justification, he groped her during the search, and he then took note of where she lived and stationed himself nearby with the intention of pulling her over for another minor infraction.
When Lloyd pulled Wilson’s small truck over on the side of a busy interstate, he informed her that he had pulled over for failing to wear a seatbelt. While that could have easily been handled by Lloyd issuing a citation, he chose to take it a step further. He asked Wilson if she was taking any prescription medications.
“No drugs, no alcohol, nothing,” Wilson replied.
Even though Wilson was fully complying with Lloyd’s questions—all while her mom was present in the passenger seat of her truck—and Lloyd did not make any mention during or after the stop that he believed she was armed or posed a threat in any way, he ordered her to get out of the vehicle.
Lloyd then told Wilson to put her hands on the hood of his police cruiser and he began to touch her. He placed his hands inside her waistband and then asked her to lift her shirt. He ran his hands over her hips and put his fingers inside her shorts.
The Knoxville News Sentinel noted that while a Supreme Court ruling from 1968 allows police officers to “pat down” a suspect on the outside of their clothing if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the suspect is armed, the person is still “forbidden from an invasive search inside a person’s clothing without either a warrant or probable cause of a crime.”
In this case, Lloyd had no reason to believe Wilson was armed, and even if she was, he should not have inserted his hands under the waistband of her shorts. In her lawsuit, Wilson claimed that Lloyd also groped her buttocks and genital area, which is below the picture captured by the dash camera.
Lloyd asked Wilson if she had any drugs in her bra, and she pulled her bra away from her breasts and shook it back and forth to show that she was not hiding any drugs. He then told Wilson to follow his finger with her eyes, and he spent more than one minute dragging it from back and forth in front of her face.
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While Lloyd’s attorney insisted that he only conducted the search because Wilson told him she was on Ambien, the Dash Cam footage of the encounter makes it clear that it was not until after Lloyd had conducted the search that he asked Wilson about the prescription medications she was taking.
Wilson said she occasionally took a prescription sleep medication, but she was not familiar with the name. When Lloyd asked if it was Ambien, she agreed. However, it is not clear why a prescription sleep medication Wilson takes occasionally has any relevance to why she chose not to wear a seatbelt that day, or why Lloyd seemed so intent on linking her to drug use.
“We have to stop meeting like this.”
Lloyd finally issued Wilson a citation and let her go. But three hours later, his Dash Cam shows that he was sitting on the side of the road, across the street from the residence listed on her driver’s license.
When Wilson passed Lloyd’s cruiser on her way home, he immediately pulled out into traffic and initiated a stop. One significant difference that occurred between the first and second stop was that on the second, Lloyd’s microphone conveniently "died" and there is no audio.
In her lawsuit, Wilson said Lloyd approached her vehicle and said, “We have to stop meeting like this,” before claiming that he pulled her over because the window tint on her truck was too dark—an infraction he also conveniently missed during the first stop.
Lloyd did not issue a citation during the second stop, but his overall treatment of Wilson should have caused serious concern and led to an investigation into his conduct.
Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler initiated a review of the incident, and concluded that “Trooper Lloyd’s actions were inconsistent with his training and Tennessee Department of Safety general orders.”
Unsurprisingly, Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott released a statement last month showing the department’s support for Lloyd’s actions and claiming that he had cause to search Wilson at the time.
"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," Trott said.