GEE AND URSULA

‘This hit me different’: Gee and Draze react to charges against officers in Manuel Ellis death

May 27, 2021, 12:30 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm
manuel ellis...
A person holds a sign during a vigil for Manuel Ellis, a black man whose March death while in Tacoma Police custody. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday that three Tacoma police officers will be charged for their role in the death of Manuel Ellis. For many, the news marked an emotional moment.

State Attorney General charges three officers for death of Manuel Ellis
Tacoma Police Department releases statement

“I don’t know why this hit me different, just sitting here my eyes are tearing up,” said Draze, Seattle hip-hop artist and Gee & Ursula Show guest host. “As a human, this stuff is a lot.”

Ellis died in Tacoma while in police custody on March 3, 2020, telling officers who were restraining him that he could not breathe. Parallels have since been drawn in the Puget Sound region between Ellis and George Floyd, with members of the community — as well as Ellis’ family — pushing to see justice served.

Two officers — Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins — have now been charged with second-degree murder, while a third, Timothy Rankine, will face first-degree manslaughter charges. In total, six officers were involved.

As Draze described, there’s a wide range of emotions to be felt right in the wake of that announcement.

“I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I’m happy,” he said. “We’re taking steps in the right direction. Is it enough? I don’t know, I don’t even want to do that right now. I’m tired of fighting for something that’s simple and easy.”

Photos: Vigil in Tacoma for Manuel Ellis

And while Thursday’s charging decision has been praised by local leaders from the Pierce County Council to Gov. Jay Inslee, Gee points out that this goes far beyond politics, cutting right to the heart of where he believes the movement for police reform should be focused.

“It’s not a celebration — this isn’t against cops,” he noted. “This is about human decency. This is about right and wrong, not left and right.”

“When I think about police officers out there, it breaks my heart, and I have to educate some people on the low when people say things like ‘all cops are bad,'” Gee continued. “As policing gets ready to rid themselves of these bad police officers, it makes it better for those who continue to protect and serve today, and I’m glad for them.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

Seattle apartments, landlords...
Gee and Ursula Show

How Seattle’s extended eviction moratorium may leave small landlords behind

Seattle extended its eviction moratorium that aims to help tenants during the pandemic, and approved two new regulations that impact landlords.
4 days ago
Dick's...
Gee and Ursula Show

Dick’s Drive-In plans to ‘invest in employees’ by increasing base wages

Starting wages at Dick's Drive-In are increasing to $19 an hour, and $20 at the Seattle locations on Broadway and in Queen Anne.
5 days ago
Vote by mail, ballots, election stress, lawsuits...
Gee and Ursula Show

Washington Sec. of State: Onslaught of election lawsuits could cause ‘significant damage’

Washington Sec. of State Kim Wyman is concerned that lawsuits challenging election results could be undermining the democratic process.
7 days ago
hospitals...
Gee and Ursula Show

Vaccinated Vancouver woman hospitalized for COVID confirms ‘hospitals are full’

A woman from Vancouver, Washington, was vaccinated, yet still caught COVID-19. She shares a first-person account of her experience inside hospitals.
7 days ago
Pfizer vaccine, students...
Gee and Ursula Show

What can latest from Pfizer tell us about when state’s kids will be eligible for vaccine?

When will the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be available to Washington state's children? Based on the latest from the company, it could be soon.
9 days ago
coronavirus, Kirkland nurse...
Gee and Ursula Show

‘I feel heartbreak and anger’: Kirkland nurse describes toll of pandemic over last year

Kirkland nurse Jenna Loney describes the toll the pandemic has taken on her and others in the health care industry over the last year-plus.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
‘This hit me different’: Gee and Draze react to charges against officers in Manuel Ellis death