Trooper accused of groping allowed to return to law enforcement

The Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) gave former Trooper Isaiah Lloyd a two-year suspension but backdated it.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A former Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who was accused of inappropriately touching a female driver in 2017 is eligible to return to law enforcement after a vote by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) on Friday. 

THP and the 8th Judicial District Attorney General cleared Isaiah Lloyd of wrongdoing in 2018. He was reinstated, but quit instead of getting fired in October 2018 after a history of reprimands for unsatisfactory job performance, records show. 

“Mr. Lloyd is pleased that the POST Commission voted to reverse his suspension,” Lloyd’s attorney Bryant Kroll said in a statement to 10News. “Most of the grounds for Mr. Lloyd’s decertification involved minor issues that had been resolved.”

The state of Tennessee settled a lawsuit brought by the driver who said Lloyd touched her inappropriately for $25,000, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office said. 

In August 2017, Lloyd pulled Patricia Wilson’s truck over on Interstate 75 in Campbell County. Her mother was riding with her.

During the stop, as she stood with hands on the hood of his cruiser, Lloyd reached around and felt her midsection. He said later he was searching for a weapon. State authorities, however, said he appeared to be searching for drug contraband.

He found nothing. Wilson alleged he touched her inappropriately and against department policy. 

He was put on leave. Wilson filed suit in Campbell County Circuit court seeking up to $250,000 in compensatory damages. 

In an informal hearing held Thursday to evaluate Lloyd’s case, POST commission members asked to ensure Lloyd would be required to go through “transition school” should he be hired for another job in law enforcement.

They unanimously approved a settlement that suspended his POST certification for two years, but back-dated it to take effect from the date of his resignation in 2018, Kroll said. 

In the hearing, POST members mentioned Lloyd’s previous job performance issues. 

“I haven’t seen any law violations,” said one POST commission member, who could not be identified due to the camera angle of the Zoom hearing. “But granted, he’s one of those magnets [for issues] it looks like.” 

“I think it’s pretty obvious that any department is going to see what we’re seeing,” another replied.

Kroll said Lloyd is now a nuclear welder and has had no disciplinary issues at the new job. 

During the interaction with Wilson in Campbell County, Lloyd also made her take several field sobriety tests, and he questioned her about whether she’d taken drugs.

The approximately 16-minute stop ended with the woman driving away after getting a ticket. 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.

In February, state authorities said they were clearing Lloyd of wrongdoing.

“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.”

“Mr. Lloyd denies the allegations that he ‘groped’ a female suspect during a traffic stop in 2017,” Kroll said in a statement Friday. “Thankfully, his dashboard camera recorded the incident and he was exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing back in 2018.”

After his reinstatement in February 2018, Lloyd failed to stay out of trouble, records show.

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

More: State clears trooper in stop

Records show he’d 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.”

Lloyd was a 2010 graduate of Anderson County High School.