3 Tacoma Police Officers Charged in Killing of Black Man

According to a recording captured by a Vivint doorbell digital camera on a home throughout the road, prosecutors mentioned, Mr. Ellis mentioned, clearly: “Can’t breathe, sir. Can’t breathe!” Less than 15 seconds later, he can once more be heard pleading with the officers, saying both “Breathe sir?” or “Please, sir?” prosecutors mentioned.

Officer Rankine, who’s 32 and Asian, was amongst a bunch of officers who responded as backup. Prosecutors mentioned he began urgent on Mr. Ellis’s again, getting on prime of Mr. Ellis virtually as if he have been in a “seated position.”

Mr. Ellis might be heard saying once more, “I can’t breathe,” and pleading: “Can’t breathe. Can’t breathe, sir,” prosecutors mentioned.

Officer Rankine later recalled, based on prosecutors, listening to Mr. Ellis say “in a very calm, normal voice” that he couldn’t breathe and responding that “if you’re talking to me, you can breathe just fine.”

An officer put a spit hood on Mr. Ellis’s head, whereas he was hogtied on his abdomen and whereas Officer Rankine was making use of stress to his again, prosecutors mentioned. The model of spit hood contains directions that particularly state that it shouldn’t be used on anybody “having difficulty breathing,” prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors mentioned Mr. Ellis remained below Officer Rankine, hogtied and face down, for six to 9 minutes till the Fire Department arrived. Mr. Ellis’s final recognized phrases have been the identical ones he had repeated all through the assault, prosecutors mentioned: “Can’t breathe.”

He was declared lifeless on the scene, prosecutors mentioned.

The Pierce County medical expert on the time, Dr. Thomas Clark, decided that the trigger of dying was “hypoxia,” or an absence of oxygen, “due to physical restraint,” prosecutors mentioned.

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