Statement: Rep. Heck on Killing of Manuel Ellis
Today, Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) released the following statement on the killing of Manuel Ellis.
Manuel Ellis was a neighbor, a musician, a father--and he should be alive today.
The video of Manuel Ellis in police custody disturbed me to my core, and only confirmed what the Pierce County Medical Examiner determined: Manuel Ellis was killed by police. The death of any unarmed Black American in police custody is unacceptable. It's even more painful when it's in our own backyard.
I commend Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards' call for specific, concrete actions. It is also long overdue that all Tacoma Police Department officers be required to wear body cameras. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure departments across the country receive the federal funds needed for this equipment. True accountability requires bringing unseen injustices to light.
These measures are the first, but vital, steps towards structural reform. In Congress, we must strengthen efforts to promote accountability in police departments, end the militarization of law enforcement, curtail excessive use of force--and finally rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Manuel Ellis should be alive today. He and his family deserve justice, and we must honor his legacy by ending the cycle of police violence against Black Americans.