Three Tacoma police officers have been criminally charged in the death of Manuel Ellis, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday.
Christopher Burbank, 35, and Matthew Collins, 38, were charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Timothy Rankine, 32, was charged with first-degree manslaughter.
All three turned themselves in by Thursday evening and were booked into Pierce County Jail. Source: thenewstribune.com/news
Three Washington state cops pleaded not guilty Friday to charges stemming from the death of Manuel “Manny” Ellis, an unarmed Black man who repeatedly begged for air while being restrained, punched, and tased in a violent arrest last year, authorities said.
Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins are charged with second-degree murder, and Timothy Rakine faces a first-degree manslaughter charge for their role in the deadly 2020 encounter in Tacoma.
The incident, which prosecutors described as unprovoked, happened just weeks before George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody, sparking a nationwide movement for racial justice. Like Floyd, Ellis also died under an officer’s knee while repeatedly crying, “I can’t breathe,” according to video evidence cited by Washington state prosecutors.
Two of the cops charged in Ellis’ death, Collins and Burbank, are white. Rankine is Asian.
The police union maintains that the charges filed are politically driven, and the police officers are not guilty of wrongdoing.