Cop's lies reveal gap in how KPD commanders review use of force incidents

Earlier this spring, Trinity Clark finished her sophomore year at Tennessee State University, halfway to her goal of becoming an occupational therapist. Every day Clark wondered if she would make it, consumed by worries that her studies would be dropped over a frightening encounter with a police officer who lied to cover up what he had done to her.
In August, Clark was confronted by Knoxville Police Officer Joseph Roberts late at night. Clark was attacked, her shirt was ripped off her body, she knelt down and handcuffed her. She was displayed topless and terrified in a front yard on Linden Avenue.
She told Knox News that she thought she might die.
Police and prosecutors charged her with six charges, including a felony charge of evading arrest.
But the truth was on Clark's side. Roberts has repeatedly lied to other police officers and in written reports about his pursuit and arrest of Clark. In December, Judge Tony Stansberry dismissed each individual charge and called the entire encounter "troubling".
The next month, Roberts faced criminal charges himself in an eerily similar case, accused of lying about beginning a high-speed pursuit of 24-year-old Siara Davis. The chase reached speeds of up to 160 km/h during rush hour and ended in an accident in which three people were injured.
Additionally, three of Robert's supervisors reviewed his arrest of Clark and none raised concerns about his behavior other than his raised voice and profanity.
However, it was the persecution of Clark that laid the groundwork for exposing Robert's patterns of behavior and eventually forcing the KPD to deal with them.
Now, as Clark works to overcome the ordeal and make plans to sue the city, her attorney, Lance Baker, asks why it took the police so long to act.
College student Trinity Clark, 21, tells Knox News about an August 2021 encounter with Knoxville Police Officer Joseph Roberts that left her shirtless, handcuffed and terrified.
"I just find it appalling as someone who handles these types of cases that it took until the Ms. Siara Davis incident in January and not Ms. Clark's a few months earlier to bring all of this to the front lines," said Baker.
"I mean you read the warrant that was filed in Ms Clark's case and there was a litany of mismatched lies similar to the one [Roberts] was caught in January."
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'Come here. I pulled you over."
Roberts graduated from Knoxville Police Academy in February 2021, but wasn't allowed to have his own punch until July, according to department policy for new police officers. About a month after his solo police beat, on August 12, Roberts and a handful of officers pulled over a woman on Cherry Street at around 11 p.m.
This happened to be right outside Clark's house, not an unusual spot on a busy street for officers to stop someone, she said. As she left her home on her way to visit a friend, officers saw her and waved.
She got in her car and made a wide turn onto East Fifth Avenue because the police cars were in the right lane on Cherry. Roberts was standing by the window of the car he had stopped as Clark turned onto the street and drove away.
How fast she was traveling is unclear. Roberts later said she almost clipped him with her car, but that doesn't appear to be the case, according to dash and bodycam footage.
The story goes on

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