Washington Sheriff Lied About Threats By Black Man
Sedrick Altheimer was on his regular newspaper delivery route on January 27 when he was confronted by Pierce County, Washington Sheriff Ed Troyer, who made allegations that the 24-year-old “threatened to kill” him. It’s a claim Troyer is now recanting.
According to The Seattle Times, Troyer sparked a massive police response after an early morning encounter with Altheimer, who is Black. Troyer claims he did not racially profile Altheimer and followed him because he spotted a driver he believed was behaving suspiciously in his West End, Tacoma neighborhood, the report notes.
Altheimer was delivering newspapers. Troyer was reportedly driving an unmarked, personal SUV and did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer, the report says. He called 911 just after 2 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 27), spurring an urgent alert and sent more than 40 officers from multiple agencies to the scene. Most were called off after Tacoma police arrived, the report says.
Altheimer described what went down to The Times, recalling that he was working his regular delivery route when he noticed a big white SUV following him.
“I’m throwing papers out the window, left and right, both windows are down … and I see this SUV hit the block,” Altheimer said, noting he didn’t know it was the county sheriff behind the wheel because it was unmarked.
The two then passed each other before the SUV turned around to follow him, according to Altheimer. Subsequently, he says he placed a newspaper in a plastic cylinder at a home and then walked over to the SUV to ask why he was being followed.
“So I asked him, ‘Who are you?’” Altheimer said, adding that Troyer didn’t identify himself, but asked what he was doing in the neighborhood and “called me all types of names,” accusing him of being “a porch pirate,” slang for someone who steals packages from porches.
Altheimer claims Troyer never identified himself as a cop. He also says he never threatened him and was just asking questions about why he was being followed. That caveat contradicts Troyer’s version of events, in which he claims he never spoke with Altheimer.
Altheimer was frisked for weapons by police and detained while police searched his car, the backseat of which was filled with newspapers.
Altheimer says the incident left him angry and frightened for his own life. He recalls keeping his hands in sight as one of the officers had drawn a gun.
“They definitely scared me. I was really shocked,” Altheimer said. “I’m yelling ‘what are you guys here for? What am I doing wrong? You guys are trying to arrest a paper carrier!’ These police officers just wasted a gallon of gas speeding over here — for what? I’m giving the people the news and I’m going home. I’ve got five kids.”
After his statements about what happened on January 27 contained inconsistencies that at times contradicted his recorded call to an emergency dispatcher, Troyer officially recanted his claim that Altheimer threatened to kill him.
In a statement through the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Troyer says he still stands by his original recorded statement to dispatchers.
“Due to the nature of the call, the Tacoma Police Department investigated the matter and concluded the inquiry without incident and I invite further inquiry into the matter,” he added, in-part, according to King5. “I am saddened to learn that Mr. Altheimer felt he was treated in an unfair manner. I am committed to continuing the ongoing dialogue with our community to ensure that policing in Pierce County is free of racial bias and performed in a manner that upholds the public trust.”
Some advocacy groups have taken to social media to call for Troyer’s resignation.