Although it would be great if we lived in a world where sexual harassment and assault were largely a thing of the past, unfortunately, instances of sexual misconduct just keep cropping up.
In fact, just last August, a 29-year-old mother called Patricia Aileen Wilson accused a parol officer in Tennessee of groping her during a traffic stop.
Here is footage of the alleged incident:
After the alleged assault, Wilson filed a lawsuit claiming that a State Highway Patrol Officer had searched her for no reason, then groped her before waiting three hours near her home to harass her again.
She sued 25-year-old Campbell County PD trooper Isaiah Lloyd for a total of $100,000. Wilson was, of course, intent on the Highway Patrol Trooper, Isaiah Lloyd, being held accountable for his sexual misconduct.
The footage, which was recorded on Trooper Lloyd’s dashcam, shows the patrol officer pulling over the alleged victim's black pickup because she wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
Wilson claims that during the unjustified stop, Lloyd demanded that she lean over his cruiser, after which he put his hands into her shorts and groped her crotch and her bottom.
The entire time that this went on, Lloyd continued asking Wilson if she had taken drugs, and she assured him that she hadn't. "No, I do not drugs, no nothing, swear to God," she tells him. She then clarifies that this excludes the occasional Ambient for sleeping purposes. Lloyd tells her, in response, that it is a narcotic and decides to give her field sobriety tests.
Afterward, the alleged victim was given a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.
Wilson also explained that just three hours later, Lloyd pulled her over again while her two children were in the car. Apparently, he claimed it was because Wilson's car windows were tinted too dark and because she was "all over the road."
Lloyd apparently told Wilson "We have to stop meeting like this." In the lawsuit, Wilson further stated that Lloyd was "using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually harass" her.
On Monday, the Tennesee Highway Patrol (THP) released dash cam footage of the two traffic stops made by trooper Isaiah Lloyd. Ultimately, the THP then decided to absolve Lloyd of criminal charges, explaining this in a 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.”
He was cleared of any wrongdoing after the Tennessee prosecutors said he was only doing his job during the August 2017 traffic stop near Knoxville.
However, the District Attorney Jared Effler did state that he believed Lloyd's behavior during the two traffic stops, “revealed that [his] actions were inconsistent with his training and Tennessee Department of Safety general orders.” But ultimately, Effler also agreed with the THP that there was not enough evidence for a court case against Lloyd. The officer is now back on active duty.
For a bit of context - in 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police are within their rights to pat down a suspect on the outside of their clothing if they have "reasonable suspicion" that the suspect is armed. However, they are otherwise forbidden from invasively searching inside a person’s clothing without a warrant.
Incidents of this nature are very difficult to navigate due to the fact that, while the best possible solution would be that a sexual assault victim would get the justice they deserve, the authorities have to be careful not to incriminate someone where there is a likelihood of innocence.
We can only hope that with the increasing amount of attention being given to movements which focus on combatting sexual misconduct, this will slowly but surely become a thing of the past.