Memo: Trooper accused in groping case had history of disciplinary problems

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A newly obtained report on former Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Isaiah Lloyd reveals a history of disciplinary issues that led officials to decide to terminate Lloyd, who decided to resign instead.

Lloyd was accused of groping a woman during two separate traffic stops last year. The determination to terminate him from THP was made in October and he resigned shortly thereafter.

Previous story: Ex-THP trooper accused of sexual misconduct resigned ‘in lieu of termination’

A history of disciplinary problems

A disciplinary investigation of Lloyd’s time as a state trooper was ordered in September and a total of nine problems were uncovered, according to the report.

Several of the problems noted related to improper handling of evidence, failure to show up for court on numerous occasions, and failure to record audio or video, both from in-car and body cameras. 

One incident mentioned in the report involved a complaint that Lloyd had been rude and unprofessional during a traffic stop. Officials were unable to properly investigate the case because Lloyd’s belt microphone was not working properly and while the video of the traffic stop was recorded, the audio was not.

On November 20, 2017, the report says Lloyd was involved in a high-speed pursuit in Campbell County and continued the pursuit even after he was informed that a passenger had called 911 to let them know a three-year-old child was in the vehicle. He received an oral warning for violating THP policy.

More online: Read the full disciplinary report [PDF]

Campbell County officer-involved shooting

The report says on July 25, 2018, Lloyd was dressing to report for duty when another trooper called him about a domestic situation on Chapman Crest Road in Campbell County. The report says Lloyd self-deployed to the location without seeking permission from his supervisor. At the time, THP’s help had not yet been requested at the scene. 

Lloyd said while at the scene, he hid behind cover, but in a spot where he could see the suspect, Michael Heatherly, 64, who was armed with a handgun. It was later revealed that he had shot and killed his wife Rose Heatherly a short time earlier.

Previous story: TBI: Campbell County man suspected of murdering wife killed in standoff with officers

Lloyd tried to negotiate with Heatherly, but the report said he admitted he never received any training in negotiations. At some point, Lloyd saw Heatherly grab his chest with his left arm and fall to the ground, appearing to suffer from a medical emergency. Lloyd said when Heatherly began threatening Campbell County officers and a K9 with the gun, Lloyd and other officers on the scene fired on Heatherly, killing him.

Lloyd said that he remembered that some of the other officers fired their weapons but not all. The shooting is still under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The report says Lloyd failed to notify a supervisor he was reporting for duty at the location of the domestic situation, but did tell dispatch. He also did not wear his belt microphone and had a pattern of failing to have his audio or video equipment working.

Alleged groping case

The report also mentions the alleged groping case involving Patricia Wilson. Lloyd asked Wilson to exit her vehicle because she had admitted to taking Ambien and was very talkative, which he said led him to believe she may not be able to safely operate a vehicle. Lloyd performed a pat-down frisk and then searched Wilson’s waistband with his fingers.

Previous story: Campbell County mother files suit, alleging sexual harassment by THP trooper

Dashcam video released by THP shows Wilson passing a field sobriety test. She ended up  being issued a seat belt citation. Wilson filed suit, claiming she had been groped, which Lloyd denied. He ended up being cleared, but THP gave him a warning and ordered remedial training about pat downs and searches, saying the frisk went beyond what it should have.

Loss of credibility

The report also details a number of times that Lloyd failed to report to court or improperly issued citations, which eventually led to District Attorney Dave Clark advising that his office would no longer prosecute any of his cases and requesting that he be moved to a different district.

“tIt is my opinion that Trooper Isiah Lloyd can no longer effectively carry out the duties of a Tennessee State Trooper. His credibility has been impaired with the court system in his assigned County, which will make it very difficult for him to present future cases. He has lost credibility with the Department by his pattern of continual refusal to abide by policies and procedures that are put into place for not only the safety of the officers involved, but also to safeguard the integrity of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security with the public,” read the report.

Lloyd was notified on October 1 that he would be terminated in 10 days. THP instead allowed him to resign on October 11.

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