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Tacoma man explains why he bailed out police officers charged in Manuel Ellis’ case

The headquarters for the Tacoma Police Department is shown Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Tacoma. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A judge set bail at $100,000 for each of the three Tacoma police officers charged in the death of Manuel Ellis on Friday. By Friday night, a Tacoma man had bailed them out.

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Josh told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show he doesn’t know Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins, or Timothy Rankine. He knows them through other people who have had great things to say about them personally.

So why bail out three strangers?

“I’m a concerned citizen, for one, and a concerned business owner as well,” Josh said. “I’ve grown up here in Pierce County-Tacoma all my life. This agenda that’s been, sorry, fueled by the media to this small group of people who want to abolish the police department and defund the police department, I don’t think have an idea what the ramifications of that would look like.”

Josh, who runs owns a construction company, told Dori he’s spent the past 14 months keeping up with the investigation and allegations. He’s watched the video from witnesses and read through the charges from the state Attorney General’s Office.

“I know the officers down here in Pierce County are great men and women who go out and protect the public,” Josh said. “They don’t wake up in the morning and try to figure out who to kill today. That’s not the mindset, at least not down here. These guys were doing their job.”

While Josh admits he doesn’t have all the facts, he believes the incidents that happened before witnesses began filming the officers on the ground with Ellis on March 3, 2020, aren’t being disclosed.

“That’s what our courts are for, and the truth will come out,” Josh said, adding that he believes the officers will be acquitted.

Dori noted that Antifa sent out a bulletin Friday night warning people of a “fascist in Tacoma” who bailed out the three officers. The memo included Josh’s personal phone number and the address of his business. Dori said a legal expert told him this could be considered felony harassment.

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Josh said he’s not worried about the bulletin and wishes the media would stop sensationalizing what’s happened in the past year. He believes the bulletin from Antifa is just another act to further divide the community.

“It was an act that was supposed to be done quietly — just to make sure these guys were out, especially for Memorial Day weekend,” Josh said. “They’re highly decorated military officers.”

Josh told Dori that most of the reaction he received over the holiday weekend was positive, and he believes that if you polled the public, 80-95% support police.

“This agenda to abolish police is just nonsense,” Josh said.

The state had asked the judge overseeing the officers’ arraignment to set bail at $1 million for each defendant, claiming that amount is standard for cases involving murder and manslaughter charges.

The officers will be required to surrender their passports, have no contact with witnesses or Manuel Ellis’ family, not be in possession of any firearms, and only have contact among themselves with attorneys present.

Burbank and Collins are expected to appear in court on June 11. Rankine is due in court on June 24.

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Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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