Three police officers charged in Manuel Ellis case remain on city payroll
Three Tacoma Police officers charged in the death of Manuel Ellis remain on the city’s payroll.
Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli confirmed to the city council on Tuesday that officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins, who have been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, and Timothy Rankine, who was charged with first-degree manslaughter, are on paid administrative leave.
Two additional officers, at the scene when Ellis died on March 3, 2020, are also on paid leave.
The City of Tacoma has begun the administrative process to determine if any disciplinary procedures will be taken against the officers, but wants to look at what the Washington State Patrol found as part of its investigation.
Pauli said the state patrol has not provided that information yet, but will “shortly,” although she gave no timeline. The city has sent notices to each officer letting them know the administrative process has begun.
The council expects to receive weekly updates.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards asked for more patience from the residents of Tacoma.
“People are tired of waiting. We’ve tested patience and we continue to ask for patience,” she said.
Pauli said the city’s investigation to determine any disciplinary action must be done precisely.
“We’re focused on making sure that our process complies with existing laws and that the disciplinary actions we take are in alignment with what we establish during our investigation and can be sustained, and not challenged from a legal perspective,” Pauli said.
Woodards said she supports the administrative leaders to carry out the investigation.
Interim Tacoma Police Chief Michael Ake said he believes the officers will receive a fair trial.
“I have faith in the system that we have and that we live under,” Ake said.