World Three police officers charged after African-American died in US
MISCELLANEOUS FACTS Manuel Ellis, an African American, 33, died on March 3, 2020 during his arrest while walking home
Posted on 05/28/21 3:37 PM
– Updated 05/28/21 at 3:37 p.m.
Like George Floyd, the victim begged “I can’t breathe”. Authorities in the US state of Washington on Thursday announced the indictment of three police officers for
the death by suffocation of a black man in March 2020. Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins, police officers in Tacoma, a city located about 50 km from Seattle, are charged with murder, and their colleague Timothy Rankine of manslaughter, said the attorney general of this northwestern state of
United States, Bob Ferguson.
Arrest warrants have thus been issued against the three men, who face life imprisonment, said the elected Democrat, to whom the case had been entrusted.
On March 3, 2020, the first two police officers wanted to arrest Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old African-American who was walking home after buying donuts in a grocery store. They had assured that the thirty-something had attacked them. But videos and witnesses have undermined their version of the facts, according to the prosecutor’s office.
These former soldiers “pinned Ellis to the ground, hit him several times, made a strangulation and shot him three times with their electric pistol, without justification”, they write in a statement of their grievances . Their colleague, who arrived shortly after with more reinforcements, “held Ellis prone and continued to put pressure on his back although he said he couldn’t breathe,” they add. From the footage of the scene, at no point did the victim appear to be resisting.
The death of George Floyd under the knee of a white Minneapolis cop on May 25 had drawn attention to the case. Manuel Ellis’s name had become customary in major protests against police violence in the summer. In this context, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee dismissed the sheriff and local prosecutor from the investigation, citing a “conflict of interest”.
Traditionally, prosecutions of American police officers have been very rare, not least because of their links to local prosecutors, and convictions even more. In April, however, a jury found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder, who knelt on top of George Floyd for nearly ten minutes.
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