TACOMA, Wash. — The Pierce County Council is moving forward with an investigation into a phone call Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer made to a 911 dispatch center.
During that call, the sheriff claimed Sedrick Altheimer, a Black newspaper carrier, was threatening to kill him, which was a statement he later retracted when speaking with the Tacoma Police Department. The call led to more than 40 officers from multiple agencies rushing toward the scene.
On Tuesday, the county council unanimously approved the steps needed to start the investigation.
The council states that investigators will determine the facts of what occurred during the incident on Jan. 27, 2021. Investigators will also work to determine whether the sheriff misused his authority, broke the law, deviated from law enforcement standards including honesty, or violated any sheriff's department policy or regulation.
Investigators will also work to establish whether a misuse of authority, violation of the law or deviation from standards is a pattern of behavior for Troyer, according to items laid out by the council.
If investigators do determine there was a misuse of authority or that Troyer broke department policies or criminal law, they will also determine what discipline to recommend and appropriate recommendations for oversight or "other procedures that could prevent or discourage similar misconduct in the future."
Several community leaders have condemned Troyer's actions, claiming they point to a pattern of misconduct.
KING 5’s law enforcement analyst and former Seattle Police chief Carmen Best stated that the community’s trust in law enforcement is critically important and this investigation shows Pierce County is taking their residents’ concerns seriously.
“With all the calls for Sheriff Troyer to step down, it’s perfectly reasonable for there to be an independent investigation to determine what happened,” Best said. “The difficult part of leadership is holding yourself as accountable as you would any of your employees, so there’s an opportunity for some self-reflection as this investigation moves forward.”
In a statement today, the Pierce County Council stated they are committed to keeping the public informed throughout the process and will provide updates as new information is made available.