(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on the death of African-American Tacoma resident Manual Ellis who was killed by local police on March 3 after being restrained on the ground. According to media reports, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office recently determined that Ellis died from respiratory arrest caused by hypoxia due to physical restraint.
“Like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless other Black people, Manuel Ellis should be with his family now, and I share the deep despair and righteous anger of the Tacoma community and people across the nation who are fed up with bearing the crushing costs of the country’s deep-seated racism.
“My heart goes out to Manuel Ellis’ family, those who loved him and his community. But I know that words alone will not reverse the severe impact of generations of violence against Black people and other communities of color, including by our police and our policies, nor will they address the systemic racism behind these tragic killings and so many other despicable injustices that continue to stain our country’s legacy and prevent a path toward national healing.
“I strongly support the Governor’s commitment to an independent investigation of Manuel Ellis’s killing. It is also clear additional action is needed immediately, like incentivizing communities to use independent prosecutors to investigate law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force, reforming the qualified immunity doctrine, and dismantling other legal and societal barriers so we can better hold police accountable for misconduct and wrongdoing. These are only just first steps we must take in a much longer effort to fight racism at every level, and finally ensure our nation lives up to its promise of justice.”