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Vigil In Tacoma, WA After Report Released Local Man Died In Police Custody

Source: David Ryder / Getty

The three former Washington state police officers who were cleared in the 2020 death of Manny Ellis will receive payments to leave the Tacoma Police Department, according to AP.

On Tuesday, the city released copies of the “voluntary separation” which revealed ex-Tacoma Officers Matthew Collins, Christopher Burbank and Timothy Rankine will receive $500,000 to leave the Tacoma Police. 

Police Chief Avery Moore also said that findings showed that none of the officers violated the use-of-force policy, which was put into effect the day Manny Ellis was killed. Ex-officer Collins was found to have only violated a policy concerning courtesy. More also told the media that the use-of-force policy has been updated because the old one, “failed to serve the best interests of the police department or the community.”

Tacoma Officers Matthew Collins and Christopher Burbank were both charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the March 3, 2020 death of Manny Ellis. Timothy Rankine was also charged with manslaughter.

In December, a jury cleared the officers of all criminal charges.

Family Of Manny Ellis Call On State To Takeover Investigation Into Tacoma Police Custody Death

Source: Karen Ducey / Getty

Video evidence presented in the trial contradicts the story police told about the incident that took Ellis’ life.

According to AP, during the trial, the prosecution called forensic video analyst Grant Fredericks to testify about a video that was captured by one of the witnesses on the scene. 

Officers claimed that Ellis was acting violently during his encounter with police, but video evidence from Fredericks’ testimony as well as witness statements showed Ellis never fought back. 

The defense team tried to prove that Ellis did not follow the officers’ commands, causing them to tase the Black man. 

Despite the evidence, the officers were still acquitted, opening the door for them to be paid separation agreements.

City Manager Elizabeth Pauli believes the agreement is a responsible path for healing the community. 

“These agreements support a responsible, constructive path forward for our community and the Tacoma Police Department,” Pauli told AP.

But Matthew Ericksen, an attorney for Ellis’ family, said the officers were “effectively being rewarded” in the death of Manny Ellis.

“The worst TPD officers are also the highest-paid TPD officers!” Said Ericksen. “Everyone in the community should be upset by this.”

Last year, the Ellis family settled a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Pierce County for $4 million.

SEE ALSO:

Family Of Manny Ellis Heartbroken After Jury Clears Cops Charged In His Death

3 Cops Charged With Killing Manuel Ellis, Who Said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Before Dying In Police Custody

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