Cops Found Not Guilty In Manuel Ellis' Death Receiving $500K To Leave Jobs

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Three Tacoma, Washington police officers found not guilty in the 2020 killing of Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man whose death drew parallels to the murder of George Floyd, have resigned from the department, per CNN.

“The City of Tacoma and former Tacoma Police Officers Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins, and Timothy Rankine have entered into voluntary resignation agreements, separating all three from City service,” Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli said in a statement on Tuesday (January 16). “These agreements support a responsible, constructive path forward for our community and the Tacoma Police Department.”

Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins, who were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter last month, and Timothy Rankine, 34, who was acquitted of manslaughter, received $500,000 in exchange for their resignations.

Video shown during the trial shows officers putting an unarmed Ellis in a chokehold, tasing him, and pinning him to the ground. Ellis can be heard in the footage saying to officers "Can't breathe, sir, can't breathe."

Lawyers for the officers argued that Ellis died from a lethal dose of methamphetamine and an existing heart condition. They also claimed that Ellis kicked the door of a police car during the incident.

Witnesses told the jury that the officers were the aggressors and made an unprovoked effort to subdue Ellis.

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