Manuel Ellis’ murder was committed by two cops, one of whom was charged with manslaughter.
Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after informing cops he couldn’t breathe while being detained, was charged with murder on Thursday by two Tacoma police officers.
Ellis, 33, died of a lack of oxygen as a result of being restrained on March 3, 2020. The medical examiner in Pierce County deemed his death a murder. Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins were charged with second-degree murder, while Timothy Rankine was charged with first-degree manslaughter, according to Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson.
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Pierce County Superior Court received the charges.
A home security camera caught Ellis’ dying words, “I can’t breathe, sir!” Methamphetamine intoxication and heart illness were additional factors in his death, according to the medical examiner’s report.
Ellis’ killing, which occurred just weeks before George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white Minneapolis cop sparked a national crisis on race and policing, made his name synonymous with calls for justice at protests in the Pacific Northwest.