Washington State Black Lives Matter Chapter Demands White Sheriff Resign After Falsely Claiming Black Newspaper Carrier Threatened to Kill Him

A Black Lives Matter chapter in Washington state demanded that a white county sheriff resign after he was charged with falsely claiming that a Black newspaper carrier had threatened to kill him.

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer is charged with one count of false reporting and one count of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, according to charging documents from state Attorney General Robert Ferguson’s office. The misdemeanor charges stem from an incident on Jan. 27, when Troyer followed Sedrick Altheimer along his newspaper route and called 911 claiming that Altheimer had threatened to kill him.

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News of the incident prompted the Washington BLM Alliance to file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department, meet with officials at the Seattle FBI field office and, last week, call for Troyer’s resignation.

Sakara Remmu, the lead strategist for the alliance, said the group plans to request that Troyer be added to the county’s “Brady list” of  law enforcement officers whose credibility has been questioned because of misconduct, criminal convictions, untruthfulness and similar acts. Such lists are maintained by local prosecutors and referred to in cases involving law enforcement officers.

“What he did was malicious,” Remmu said. “It’s clear: This sheriff was trying to get an innocent man killed. This is basically a case of swatting, where you are intentionally calling the police and lying, saying that your life is under threat so that the police respond ready to use excessive or deadly force.”

An investigation by former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, commissioned by the Pierce County Council, found that Troyer violated several Pierce County Sheriff’s Department policies in the encounter and that “a reasonable person could conclude that Sheriff Troyer exhibited an improper bias in his confrontation with Mr. Altheimer.” The 48-page report was released Tuesday.

Altheimer was delivering newspapers along his usual route in Tacoma around 2 a.m. when he noticed Troyer’s personal vehicle, a white Chevrolet Tahoe, following him to several stops, according to Altheimer’s federal lawsuit against Troyer and the county. Altheimer eventually approached Troyer’s vehicle near North 27th Street and Deidra Circle and asked whether he was a police officer, but Troyer, who was off duty, didn’t respond or identify himself as a law enforcement officer, the suit states.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Char Adams

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