Washington Officers Face Charges in Restraint Death of Black Man

The Washington state attorney general on Thursday charged two Tacoma police officers with murder and another with manslaughter in the death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after repeatedly telling them he couldn’t breathe as he was being restrained.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges of second-degree murder against Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins, and first-degree manslaughter against Timothy Rankine. The three were in custody by Thursday evening, Ferguson's office said, with their arraignments set for Friday.

Witnesses reported seeing Burbank and Collins, who are both white, attack Ellis without provocation, according to a probable cause statement filed in Pierce County Superior Court. Rankine, who is described as Asian in court documents, is accused of putting pressure on Ellis’ back as he said he couldn’t breathe.

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