A sheriff in Washington state is facing charges after allegedly tailing a black newspaper delivery man and falsely reporting the man threatened to kill him, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Tuesday.
Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer was charged with one count of false reporting and one count of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, according to a news release.
Both charges are misdemeanors, and if convicted, he would likely be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
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"The night of the incident, I was doing what I have done for decades," Troyer told CNN after the charges were filed in Pierce County District Court. "[Which was] investigate the possibility of criminal activity after neighbors and I had repeatedly become victims of property crime."
A statement of probable cause from Ferguson's office describes the incident on Jan. 27 at about 2 a.m.
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Sedrick Altheimer, the newspaper delivery man, filed a "false arrest" legal claim alleging race-based discrimination for $5 million in damages in June. His attorneys argued the incident caused him "deep emotional stress." Litigation is still pending.
"Sheriff Troyer remains the elected Sheriff in full lawful authority and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Sheriff has instructed his command staff, and the entire Pierce County Sheriff's Department to continue in its mission and to fulfill their duties without interruption or distraction," Pierce County Sheriff's Department said in a statement reported by CNN.
Original Location: Washington sheriff charged over confrontation with black newspaper delivery driver
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