A Tacoma, Washington, man whose death has parallels with George Floyd’s police killing died by homicide after being restrained by cops, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined. Manuel Ellis, who was black, died of hypoxia, a deficiency of oxygen reaching body tissues, respiratory arrest, and physical restraint on March 3, according to the medical examiner’s report. The report also lists meth intoxication and heart disease as contributing factors.
Police say they encountered Ellis while he was walking home, and that he was harassing a woman, pounding on her car window and trying to open the car doors. Ellis then allegedly hit the officers’ patrol car several times. Officers struggled with Ellis before handcuffing him and restraining him on the ground. Ellis, who had cried out “I can’t breathe,” lost consciousness and stopped breathing while in custody. He was pronounced dead about 40 minutes later by medical personnel who had been called to the scene.
“The harshest of realities is George Floyd is right here in Tacoma, and his name is Manny,” said James Bible, who is representing Ellis’ family.