Joseph Roberts

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Service Record

Agency Knoxville Tennessee Police Department
Rank Officer
Dates of Service Ended April 14, 2022.[1]
Last Known Status Resigned[1]

Incident Reports

Joseph Roberts.PNG

2021 Detainment of Trinity Clark

On August 12, 2021, Roberts claimed that Clark sped away from him and evaded arrest. In-vehicle video shows that Clark drove by Roberts when he was on another traffic stop. Roberts pursued Clark's vehicle without the use of his lights and siren. When Clark arrived at her destination and walked to the porch, Roberts activated his lights, exited his vehicle, and ordered Clark off the porch. When she refused, Roberts approached her and immediately reached for her arm. Clark resisted, and her shirt came off during the struggle. Roberts and a backup officer eventually gained control of Clark on the ground and handcuffed her. Clark continued to resist, and another officer sat on her. Another officer got some clothes from someone in the house.[2]

Clark was charged with assault on a first responder, driving on a suspended license, felony evading arrest, failure to yield right of way, resisting a stop/arrest/search, and possession of marijuana. The charges were later dismissed by a judge, who called the incident "disturbing".[2]

The incident was captured on Robert's vehicle camera and body-worn camera.[2]

Response Timeline

Supervisors in the department conducted a use of force review. Roberts was criticized for his use of foul language.[2]

2022 Arrest of Siara Davis

On January 31, 2022, Roberts attempted to stop Davis for driving with expired tags. When Davis failed to yield, Roberts initiated a pursuit during rush hour. Roberts turned off both his body-worn camera and in-vehicle camera. The vehicle camera turned back on when the chase reached a higher speed. As Davis fled, she ran a red light and was struck by another vehicle, which caused Davis' car to flip.[1]

Other officers who responded to the scene asked Roberts about his involvement, which he repeatedly denied. Roberts lied on the warrants for Davis and her passenger.[1]

Davis was arrested on charges including evading arrest and careless and erratic driving. She claimed to be assisting her passenger - who had an outstanding warrant - avoid arrest.[1]

Response Timeline

In February 2022, Roberts was suspended with pay.[1]

On February 25, 2022, the Department opened an Internal Affairs investigation to see if any policies were violated, and a Criminal Investigations Division investigation to determine if any crimes occurred.[3]

On April 14, 2022, Roberts was arrested on charges of destroying or tampering with records. The District Attorney claimed that Roberts lied on an arrest report.[1]

On April 14, 2022, Roberts pleaded guilty to a felony charge of Tampering with Governmental Records, and resigned from the department. Roberts faces punishment of 1-2 years, though he has asked for a diversion program.[4]

LEO Ratings

Training and Tactics rating: bad
Protect & Serve rating: neutral
Individual Rights rating: neutral
Accountability and Integrity rating: bad
Off Duty rating: neutral
Ratings Definitions