The family of a man who was killed by Washington police is one step closer to receiving a $4 million settlement. On Monday (March 21), Adam Faber, a spokesperson for the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirmed that they reached a settlement with the relatives of the late Manuel Ellis. The settlement will be sent to the Pierce County Council for a final review, which will be followed by a public announcement on Tuesday (March 22), the Seattle Times reported.
Ellis was killed at the hands of police while on his way home from a convenience store in March 2020. Officers Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins and Timothy Rankine said he attempted to open the doors of a slowly moving vehicle before he allegedly approached them, threatened to hit them and eventually punched their car door. They said he attacked them as they exited their cruiser, prompting what turned out to be a fatal attack.
As previously reported by REVOLT, the cops subsequently tasered, repeatedly hit, choked and handcuffed Ellis, placing his head in a spit hood. Footage from bystanders also showed as Rakine kneeled on his back to hold him down as he was being hogtied. Amid the attack, Ellis’ complained that he couldn’t breathe, but his pleas were ignored. According to the Pierce County medical examiner, he died as a result of homicide with the cause of death being oxygen deprivation.
Burbank and Collins were charged with second-degree murder for the unprovoked attack of Ellis, who suffers from mental illness. Rakine faces a charge of first-degree manslaughter for restraining the man with a kneel to his back. All officers have pleaded not guilty and are out on paid administrative leave.
Despite the settlement, Ellis’s sister, Monet Carter-Mixon, doesn’t believe justice has been served. “I don’t see this as necessarily a win,” she said. “So it’s not over yet in my eyes. I don’t think there’s any amount of financial compensation that can remedy the situation or make anyone feel better about my brother not being here.”