A California cardiologist has testified in court that the way the three Tacoma police on trial for the killing of Manuel Ellis restrained the man caused him to asphyxiate, go into cardiac arrest and die, Peter Talbot reports for the News Tribune. Dr. Daniel Wohlgelernter told jurors it was his opinion that asphyxia was the result of Ellis being held down on his stomach while restrained in handcuffs and a hobble with the weight of officers on top of him.
Four eyewitnesses have testified that police instigated the deadly interaction while Ellis was walking home the night of March 3, 2020, and that Ellis, who went by Manny, did not fight back as he was repeatedly struck, shocked with a Taser and pressed to the ground. Expert testimony has shown that the man told police he couldn’t breathe multiple times while officers continued to apply force. Officers Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins and Timothy Rankine are charged with first-degree manslaughter for killing Ellis and have pleaded not guilty.