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Statement on Death of Manuel Ellis

A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards on the Death of Manuel Ellis


June 3, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications,tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards on the Death of Manuel Ellis


As we work together to dismantle systemic racism and other harmful constructs that do not support our shared vision of Tacoma – a diverse, compassionate city with its sights set on a positive future and a better world – today we pause. 

We pause amidst our struggle with the current public health and economic crisis, as well as the flood of emotions stirred up by the tragic and unacceptable death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and reflect on the grief and sadness of Manuel Ellis’ family and loved ones. 

We pause and share their grief, because every loss of life matters.

I cannot imagine the pain that continues with the Ellis family’s loss, but I do know that our community wants both answers and justice. And so do we. 

The investigation of Mr. Ellis’ death on March 3 was turned over to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, which has overseen it since. We received word that the Medical Examiner’s report had been completed and delivered to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

We will learn the results of that investigation even as our country reels from the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others. We look forward to the Sheriff’s swift completion of the investigation, and we will take appropriate steps based on the findings.

While Tacoma has come together peacefully to have hard conversations about the change that needs to happen to save African-American lives, we have seen how the tension of this issue and these lost lives have spilled over into more violence nationally. 

As we wait to learn more about Manuel Ellis’ death, I want to continue the dialogues that we have started here in Tacoma on what we must change going forward to prevent further loss of life. 

I say this about the city that I love and have the honor and privilege to serve as Mayor – We will not sit back and allow national tensions to bleed into the progress we are striving to achieve.

Together, we will serve as an example that we can move forward as a community if we are united in purpose and love.

As I have said previously, we are at an important juncture. On the razor’s edge of a critical tipping point in history, what we do in the here and now is up to us. 

We are a community with heart. We are Compassionate Tacoma, and together we can drive catalytic change.