(ConservativeInsider.org) – Three officers who were charged with the death of Manuel Ellis have been found not guilty.
On the night of March 3, 2020, Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old black man, was walking home from a convenience store when he got into an altercation with two Tacoma police officers. Reports from witnesses vary, as some say they saw Ellis attempting to harass a woman and open her car door and that’s why the officers approached him, while others say Ellis approached the officers in their vehicle calmly before things escalated. The officers eventually stepped out of their car, leading to a physical altercation between the officers and Ellis. The officers restrained Ellis, shocked him with a stun gun, and placed a spit mask over his face.
One of the officers involved claimed that Ellis used “superhuman strength” to pick him up and throw him to the ground, but civilian witnesses and the other officer involved did not report seeing anything like that.
While the medical examiner said Ellis’s death was caused by “hypoxia due to physical restraint,” defense attorneys for the officers involved claim that the methamphetamine found in Ellis’s system caused him to act erratically and aggressively, contributing to his death. While Ellis reportedly said he was struggling to breathe while he was restrained, one of the officers replied that if he could talk, he could breathe.
Two of the officers were charged with second-degree murder, while a third officer was charged with first-degree manslaughter. All the officers were found not guilty on December 21st, after a week of deliberations by the jury.
Matthew Ericksen, attorney for the Ellis family, believes that the only reason why the officers were acquitted was because the defense was allowed to bring up Ellis’s prior arrest, thereby prejudicing the jury against Ellis.
The Tacoma police union released a statement in support of the officers, saying that the charges brought against the officers were part of a “politically motivated witch hunt.”
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