TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Council continues its search for an outside investigator to look into the controversy surrounding Sheriff Ed Troyer Friday as demonstrators gathered outside his office to call for his resignation.
The fallout is growing after allegations Troyer profiled a black newspaper delivery man. Protesters insist Troyer’s recollection to Tacoma Police did not reflect what he told dispatchers during the confrontation.
Demonstrators were small in numbers, but their voices were loud and clear Friday. Carrying signs and shouting slogans, the group urged people to sign an election recall petition.
The incident happened back in January, but allegations of bias lodged against Troyer did not come to light until March. The Sheriff insists he acted without bias and within policy, but activists believe Troyer escalated the situation unnecessarily.
"There’s no telling what could have happened, we demand you resign and resign now," shouted demonstrator Alton McDonald. "The fact that he lied now, how many lies has he told in the last 35-years."
Pierce County Deputy Sheriff’s Independent Guild – the union representing nearly 350 of the rank and file in the department – said in a statement they hear and share the public's concerns about what happened, but will wait to respond after the county council’s third-party investigator concludes its probe.
Friday afternoon the Tacoma City Council said an outsider looking into the facts is necessary for the public to build trust in local law enforcement, but demonstrators wonder if a local investigator will be enough.
"I think it should come from the federal," suggested demonstrator Will Jenkins. "It removes any possibility of a biased outcome."
County Council Chair Derek Young said he was hopeful the process to narrow down who would lead the independent investigation, but an exact timeline has yet to be released.
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