UPDATE: The Seattle Times wrote about Manuel Ellis’ story on Sunday. Two eye witnesses contradict official Tacoma police reports about what happened.
In their ongoing effort to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Seattle Sounders donned warmup jerseys demanding “Justice for Manny Ellis” prior to Friday’s match against LAFC. They also held up a sign saying the same thing in place of the traditional starting lineup photo.
Justice for Manny Ellis. pic.twitter.com/JgL9nnBiuL— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) September 19, 2020
Ellis is a Black man who was killed by Tacoma police in March. After video of the incident surfaced, his family filed a $30 million lawsuit against the city in August.
We support our players. Always. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/NUKqGwIoE7— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) September 19, 2020
On the video — which was caught by a neighbor’s security camera — Ellis can be heard saying “I can’t breathe.” Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide by asphyxiation. Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodard has called for the officers to be fired.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office had originally been investigating the case, but were pulled off of it in June after it was revealed that they also had officers at the scene. The Washington State Patrol has since taken over the investigation. Initiative 940, passed in 2018, bans police agencies from investigating themselves.