AP

Newspaper carrier confronted by sheriff files $5M tort claim

Jun 16, 2021, 1:43 PM | Updated: 9:21 pm

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Black newspaper carrier confronted by Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer has filed a legal claim seeking at least $5 million in damages.

Attorneys representing Sedrick Altheimer submitted the tort claim against the county on Tuesday, contending Troyer’s actions during the Jan. 27 incident violated Altheimer’s constitutional rights and caused him “severe emotional distress,” The Seattle Times reported.

Altheimer’s attorneys, Susan Mindenbergs and Vonda Sargent, did not immediately respond to requests from the newspaper for comment. A copy of the tort claim, which precedes a potential lawsuit, was released by Pierce County after a public-records request.

Witnesses will attest to harm caused by the “racial profiling, false arrest and unnecessary use of excessive force” on Altheimer, “whose only crime was ‘being a black man in a white neighborhood,’ ” the tort claim says.

Troyer, who is white, has denied wrongdoing and says he did not racially profile Altheimer.

On Wednesday, Troyer did not directly address the legal claim. But he told the newspaper in an email that he welcomes a “complete, full and independent investigation” and that he and his office will be “fully cooperative.”

Altheimer, 24, was driving his delivery route Jan. 27 when Troyer started following him in his personal SUV. The two wound up in a 2 a.m. altercation in which Troyer called emergency dispatchers, repeatedly saying Altheimer was threatening to kill him.

That call sparked more than 40 units from various police agencies rushing to the scene. Most were called off after Tacoma police arrived, but Altheimer was “confronted at gun point, removed from his vehicle (and) frisked for weapons all while trying to explain he was at work,” the tort claim states.

Upon questioning by a Tacoma police officer, Troyer walked back his statement that Altheimer threatened him, according to a police report. Troyer has disputed the police report’s account.

Troyer has previously said he started following Altheimer because he believed he was behaving suspiciously near his home.

The incident, which remained unknown to the public until The Seattle Times reported it in March, has led to calls for Troyer’s resignation, and the state Attorney General’s Office has opened a criminal investigation into potential false-reporting charges.

The Pierce County Council additionally has hired former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran to examine whether Troyer violated Sheriff’s Office policies or professional standards. Black Lives Matter activists have asked the FBI to open a civil rights probe.

Troyer has said he welcomes those investigations. A 35-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, he had been the agency’s media spokesperson before being elected as sheriff last year.

Altheimer has worked as a newspaper carrier for Steiner Distribution since 2015, “and is considered a reliable and hard worker,” the tort claim states.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

57 minutes ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

2 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

3 days ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

4 days ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Newspaper carrier confronted by sheriff files $5M tort claim