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

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It’s been four years since Manny Ellis died in police custody, yet still, his death is a catalyst for change in Washington state.

Lawmakers in the state are expected to review a proposal that would ban police from hog-tying suspects. 

According to AP, the restraint technique has been a point of contention between police and the community due to the risk of suffocation. 

“How do we move through the need for folks to enforce the laws, but do it in a way where they’re treating people the way we expect, which is as human beings?” said Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, who sponsored the bill earlier this year.

The battle over this seemingly archaic police tactic has raged on for decades. In 1995, The U.S. Department of Justice recommended against the practice to avoid deaths while suspects were in custody. 

“Hog-tying has been an accepted and commonly used method of restraint to control unruly behavior, but it would be prudent to eliminate its use, establish other methods of restraining prisoners, and training and supervising correctional officers in the alternative methods of restraint,” DOJ wrote.

In 2022, the Washington attorney general’s office recommended against using hog-tying. According to police policies, at least four local agencies continue to permit it, including Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, which is the home of one of the offices involved in the death of Manny Ellis. 

“If it does turn out that this form of restraint for combative detainees is dangerous in any way, then I think the state should put together a grant and some money to buy and train on alternative methods to make sure that the officer and the person arrested is safe,” said Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, a member of the House public safety committee,

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. A third officer, Timothy Rankine was also charged with manslaughter.

Video evidence was presented in the trial of three police officers charged in the death of Manny Ellis that 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. 


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