The officers, Timothy Rankine, Matthew Collins, and Christopher Burbank, were cleared by a jury in December following a trial held over two months. Rankine faced manslaughter charges, while Collins and Burbank faced charges of manslaughter and second-degree murder.
City Manager Elizabeth Pauli said the agreements support a responsible and constructive path forward for the community and the Tacoma Police Department.
Matthew Ericksen, an attorney for Ellis’ family, criticized the agreements, calling it “perverse” and asserting that the officers were “effectively being rewarded” for Manuel Ellis’ death. He highlighted that the officers had already been paid around $1.5 million while on leave for nearly four years.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle announced last week that it is reviewing the case, and the Justice Department can bring prosecutions for federal civil rights violations. The scope of the review was not disclosed.
The trial marked the first under a five-year-old state law aimed at facilitating the prosecution of police accused of wrongfully using deadly force. The Ellis family settled a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Pierce County, which includes Tacoma, for $4 million last year.
Source: Black Enterprise