Joseph Roberts

From LEO Ratings

Service Record

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

Incident Reports

2021 Arrest of Trinity Clark

On August 12, 2021, Roberts was at the scene of a traffic stop when Clark drove by. Roberts pursued Clark, without the use of lights or siren, and claimed that Clark was speeding and "trying to evade". Clark arrived at her destination and exited her vehicle. Roberts arrived, activated his lights, exited his vehicle and attempted to handcuff Clark without a discussion or explanation. Clark resisted, and her shirt fell off during the struggle. Roberts and other officers were able to handcuff Clark.[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 arrest, and drug possession.[2]

Department policy requires officers to drive with lights and siren activated during pursuits that exceed the speed limit.[2]

The incident was captured on Roberts' dashcam and body-worn camera.[2]

Several of Roberts' claims in his report are refuted by the video.[2]

Response Timeline

A judge dismissed the charges against Clark, calling the event "disturbing" and lacking probable cause.[2]

An internal review found nothing wrong with Roberts' use of force, though did criticize his use of "harsh language".[2]

2022 Arrest of Siara Davis

Joseph Roberts.PNG

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]

On June 8, 2022, Roberts was sentenced to probation and community service, and can enter a diversion program to remove his criminal record once the sentence is completed.[5]

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

References