Police Officer Slaps State With Massive Defamation Lawsuit

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

(FeaturedNews.com) – On Thursday, three police officers were found not guilty of the criminal charges relating to the 2020 death of Manuel “Manny” Ellis.

Following this, one of the three police officers opted to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the state in which he argued that he was falsely accused of racial and criminal misconduct. 

Ellis, who was black, had died in March 2020 following a beating and facedown while in Tacoma police custody. Before his death and while being held down, Ellis had been pleading for breath. 

During the trial last year, Timothy Rankine, a former Tacoma police officer, testified that he had indeed held Ellis down while he was pleading and telling the officers that he could not breathe. The attorneys representing the officers have argued that Ellis’ death was not caused by the actions of the police officers and that in fact, his death was the result of a pre-existing heart condition and a lethal dose of methamphetamine. The Pierce County Medical Examiner had previously ruled that the death had been caused by the lack of oxygen due to him being physically restrained and that the death was a homicide. 

The first respondents on the scene were Tacoma Police Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins who were later charged with first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. In December, Rankine was cleared of first-degree manslaughter however he has argued that the trial has ruined his reputation. 

The surveillance footage taken from a doorbell camera which was shown as part of the evidence, showed that Ellis had his hands suspended in the air in a surrender position as Burbank had used a Taser on his chest. Collins had proceeded to wrap his hands behind his neck. 

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