Sheriff blames 'shoddy police work' at his trial for falsely calling cops on Black deliveryman

On Thursday, the Seattle Times reported that disgraced Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, on trial for pursuing a Black newspaper delivery man and telling police he threatened to kill him, is denying he is racist — and blaming his false police report on "shoddy police work."

"Mounting his defense in a Tacoma courtroom, Troyer and his attorneys portrayed him as an innocent victim of shoddy police work, a politically motivated prosecution and unfair media coverage," reported Jim Brunner. "Asked by defense attorney Anne Bremner whether he had made a false report to police the night of his Jan. 27, 2021 confrontation with newspaper carrier Sedrick Altheimer, Troyer replied: 'No, I did not."

"I wouldn’t do that,” Troyer continued. “I mean, the reason why I’m here testifying is the media’s made me out to be a racist, and the state’s made me out to be a liar.”

"The prosecution’s case relies in large part on a police incident report written by Tacoma police Officer Chad Lawless, who was among the first officers to respond last January, after Troyer called an emergency dispatcher and said Altheimer was threatening to kill him, triggering a massive police response," said the report. "Lawless spoke with Troyer at the scene and wrote in his report that he asked the sheriff specifically whether Altheimer 'ever made any threats towards him or displayed any weapons.' Troyer replied that Altheimer 'never threatened him' and had no weapons, according to Lawless’ incident report. Lawless testified Wednesday that he remembers asking Troyer twice about threats and that both times Troyer said there were none — contradicting his recorded emergency-dispatch call."

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"Troyer on Thursday ripped into Lawless’ work, noting he didn’t include typical information that would be noted about a witness or suspect at a crime scene," said the report. "For example, Troyer said, Lawless’ report didn’t include his middle initial, date of birth, height or weight, or hair and eye color — details Troyer said have ususally been filled out in other police reports mentioning him."

Troyer's deceit was first reported in March 2021. He has vehemently denied lying, despite the contradiction between the phone call and the police report, and said, "In 35 years, I have never had a complaint against me for racial bias."