Gov. Inslee announced Friday that the state will conduct an independent review of Manuel Ellis’ death.
Manuel Ellis died March 3, 2020, from a lack of oxygen, after being restrained by Tacoma police. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, but found drugs and a heart condition also contributed to Ellis’ death. The Pierce County Sheriff’s office was investigating his death, but Ellis’ family had asked for an independent investigation.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said Thursday that she wants the police officers involved in the death of Manuel Ellis fired.
The Tacoma Police Union responded to Woodards’ statement Friday morning, claiming that the mayor’s call to fire and prosecute the officers involved in Ellis’ death comes “without an ounce of evidence to support her words beyond misplaced rage.”
Gov. Inslee’s full statement is as follows:
Today, I committed to Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards that the State of Washington will conduct an independent review of the investigation and any charging decisions related to the death of Manuel Ellis.
I’ve been told the Pierce County Sheriff is close to completing the investigation his agency is doing on behalf of the city. That report will be forwarded to the county prosecutor, who makes the decision whether to charge the officers involved. We have no reason to doubt the work underway, and my decision does not in any way pre-judge an outcome, but the family of Mr. Ellis, the City of Tacoma and every Washington resident deserves the confidence that an extra level of scrutiny will bring.
I have spoken

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