What Really Happened to Manny Ellis? Who is Manny Ellis?

by Moore Martin

What Happened to Manny Ellis

Manny Ellis tragically died during an encounter with police in Tacoma, Washington, involving alleged excessive force and restraint, sparking widespread attention and protests.


Manuel “Manny” Ellis, an unarmed Black man, tragically lost his life during a police arrest in Tacoma, Washington, on March 3, 2020. This incident raised several questions about police conduct, accountability, and the broader issue of racial injustice. In this article, we will delve into the details of what happened to Manny Ellis and who he was.

The Initial Incident

The police initially claimed Ellis had attacked officers and a police car, but later evidence contradicted this narrative. Video footage revealed officers repeatedly punching, choking, and using a Taser on Ellis, who was not fighting back. He pleaded with the officers, saying, “I can’t breathe, sir,” echoing a chilling similarity to other cases that have sparked nationwide outrage.

The Tragic Outcome

During the arrest, Ellis was hogtied, face-down, with an officer on him, and a spit hood was placed on his head. Despite receiving medical aid from paramedics, Ellis tragically died at the scene. The incident, reminiscent of other cases of police brutality, led to protests in Tacoma and added fuel to the broader national conversation on racial injustice and police violence.

Who Was Manny Ellis?

Manuel “Manny” Ellis was a 33-year-old African American man whose life was cut short during a police arrest on March 3, 2020, in Tacoma, Washington. Described as unarmed and minding his own business, Ellis faced a violent encounter with law enforcement that resulted in his tragic death. Ellis’ case became a focal point for discussions on police brutality, racial injustice, and the need for accountability in law enforcement.

The Manny Ellis Case Update

In a recent update on the Manny Ellis case, a jury has found three police officers not guilty in connection with his death. Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins, and Timothy Rankine were acquitted of charges that included second-degree murder and manslaughter. The verdict has sparked public outcry and added to the ongoing debate surrounding police accountability and the use of force, especially against Black individuals.

The trial saw the presentation of evidence, including eyewitness testimony and video footage of the incident. Despite the prosecution’s arguments that Ellis deserved basic human dignity and should not have died that night, the defense emphasized Ellis’ history of drug addiction and mental health issues as factors contributing to the tragic outcome. The case’s resolution raises questions about the effectiveness of the justice system in addressing instances of police violence and ensuring accountability.


1. Was Manny Ellis armed during the incident?

No, Manny Ellis was unarmed at the time of the encounter with police.

2. What were the charges against the officers involved?

The officers faced charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.

3. Were there any eyewitnesses to the incident?

Yes, eyewitnesses and video evidence were presented during the trial.

4. What was the cause of Manny Ellis’ death?

Ellis’ death was attributed to respiratory arrest due to hypoxia caused by physical restraint.

5. Has there been any settlement in the case?

Yes, Pierce County reached a $4 million settlement agreement with Ellis’ family in March 2022.

In conclusion, the tragic death of Manny Ellis serves as a painful reminder of the issues surrounding police conduct and racial injustice in the United States. The case continues to generate discussions about the need for police reform and accountability to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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