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I can’t breathe


Manuel Ellis was suffocated to death by Tacoma police in March while he was already handcuffed:

Manuel Ellis died in handcuffs while being restrained on the ground by Tacoma police.

Although Ellis, an openly struggling addict, had drugs in his system when he died, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the 33-year-old died March 3 of respiratory arrest due to hypoxia due to physical restraint.

Hypoxia is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching body tissues.


Protesters in Tacoma have marched for several days against police brutality and racial inequality, demanding justice for Floyd, Ellis and others who have died at the hands of police.

There are similarities in the deaths of Ellis and Floyd, who died in Minneapolis a week ago after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Both were black men handcuffed in the street after police encounters. Both died after lapsing into unconsciousness. Both died due to a lack of oxygen while being restrained.

Monet Carter-Mixon, Ellis’ sister, learned about the autopsy findings Tuesday and said she wasn’t surprised.

Given the delay, it’s very fair to wonder if this would have been buried were it not for the local and nationwide protests, which is one illustration of why they’re so necessary.

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