A Tennessee woman claims a Highway Patrol trooper groped her during a traffic stop, then laid in wait near her home and pulled her over a second time just hours later, according to reports.
Patricia Aileen Wilson was driving down Interstate 75 in Campbell County with her mother last August when Trooper Isaiah Lloyd pulled her truck over for a seatbelt violation, Knox News reported.
Dash camera footage and an audio recording from Lloyd’s body microphone show he asks Wilson if she has taken any “prescription drugs” before she steps out of the black pickup truck.
“No drugs, no nothing, no alcohol,” she responds. “I do no drugs, no nothing, swear to God.”
After instructing her to place her hands on the hood of his patrol vehicle, Lloyd begins searching Wilson, who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. The trooper runs his hands over Wilson’s hips with his fingers inside the waistband of her shorts, according to Knox News.
In January, Wilson filed a $100,000 lawsuit against Lloyd, alleging he touched her genital area and buttocks during the search, according to Fox News.
After patting her down, Lloyd tells Wilson to lift up her shirt, which she complies with. He then asks Wilson if she has any drugs concealed in her bra. She answers no, shaking out her bra to demonstrate. Lloyd again asks if she has taken any prescription medication, and again Wilson denies it, though she adds she occasionally takes a sleep aid.
James A. H. Bell, an attorney speaking to reporters on behalf of Lloyd—though he is not representing Lloyd in Wilson’s lawsuit—said the officer initiated his search after Wilson admitted to taking the prescription sleep medication Ambien. Video shows he only learned Wilson occasionally takes the sedative after he began the search.
“I normally have to take it every other night,” she says. “I don’t take any narcotics.”
“It is a narcotic,” Lloyd says. Ambien is not a classified as a narcotic, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Knox News noted.
Lloyd ultimately released Wilson after citing her for a seatbelt violation. But about three hours later, the two met again. He was parked on the side of a road near Wilson’s Campbell County home when he spotted her truck pass him, made a U-turn and pulled her over.
“We have to stop meeting like this,” he allegedly told Wilson—who had her two children, ages 3 and 8, in the car at the time—according to the lawsuit. After spotting the children, Lloyd explained he stopped her because the window tint on her truck was too dark. He ultimately let her go without issuing a citation.
Unlike the first encounter, there appears to be no audio recording for the second stop. Lloyd said the battery for his microphone “went dead,” state prosecutor Jared Effler revealed in a statement to Knox News after conducting a review of the incidents.
Effler’s office determined Lloyd’s behavior was “inconsistent with his training” and the department’s guidelines. He did not, however, believe his office could bring a sexual battery case against Lloyd, though Effler did drop the seatbelt ticket he issued Wilson.
Effler also said he sent the Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, which oversees the state’s highway patrol division, a copy of his office’s review and requested that Lloyd go over the findings to “prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Colonel Tracy Trott, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, also issued the newspaper a statement on the stops, saying Lloyd had been cleared of any malfeasance.
“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.
Lloyd previously served in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and spent seven months in Iraq before joining the Tennessee Highway Patrol in February 2015, according to Knox News.