TACOMA, Wash. — At least two new law enforcement officers have been identified as having participated in restraining Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after his airways were restricted in March.
The new records were released by the Washington State Patrol on Wednesday.
Four Tacoma police officers have been on leave as the investigation into Ellis’ death continues.
The records identify an off-duty sheriff’s sergeant who helped shove Ellis’ leg to hogtie him while he was handcuffed and prone on the ground and a fifth Tacoma police officer who placed a spit guard over Ellis’ head after he had complained that he could not breathe.
The investigation into Ellis' death is being handled by the Washington State Patrol. State Patrol took over the investigation after several issues were discovered with the previous investigation.
Gov. Jay Inslee said the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department would not make charging decisions or finish the investigation because a sheriff’s deputy was at the scene. Inslee said the county prosecutor believed she had "an irreconcilable conflict" that would prevent her office from taking the case.