TACOMA, Wash. — The Pierce County Council has requested an independent investigation after Sheriff Ed Troyer came under fire for calling 911 dispatch about a Black newspaper carrier in January.
Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young directed council staff Tuesday to begin the process of finding someone to conduct the investigation.
Through his office, Troyer released a statement promising "full cooperation" with the investigation.
"I greatly appreciate the Council's quick and thorough handling of this matter and I look forward to the findings of this investigation," the statement read.
"This is a time when transparency, facts, and communication are paramount. As your elected Sheriff I am fully committed to building trust with the community and I welcome this inquiry," Troyer's statement continued.
The investigation timeline depends on the proposal presented to the council, according to a council spokesperson.
The city of Tacoma also issued a statement supporting the independent investigation.
“As we learn more about the incident and follow media reports, it has become apparent that Sheriff Troyer disagrees with the narrative in our officer’s incident report,” said interim Police Chief Mike Ake. “In the search for clarity and better understanding, we agree with the Pierce County Council’s approach to finding a third-party investigator to evaluate the facts.”
As reported in The Seattle Times, Troyer called 911 dispatch on Jan. 27 and told the dispatcher a man parked in front of his house “threatened to kill him,” which was a statement he later retracted when speaking with the Tacoma Police Department.
The 911 dispatch call led to more than 40 officers from multiple agencies rushing toward the scene.
The man Troyer called about was Sedrick Altheimer, a Black newspaper carrier on his morning route.
In a statement released last week, Troyer said he stands by his original recorded statement to dispatch and that he is “committed to policing that is transparent, accountable to its citizens, and administered free of racial bias.” Troyer also said he feels his actions were in line with those standards.
After the incident surfaced, activists, including the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance and leaders with the Pierce County Democrats, have called for Troyer to either be removed from office or resign.