Former Tacoma police officer, acquitted in Manny Ellis case, files $47M claim

TACOMA, Wash. — Swift reaction to a $47 million claim filed by one of the three Tacoma police officers acquitted in the beating death of an unarmed black man.

Former Tacoma Police officer Timothy Rankine filed the claim, four months after a jury found him and two other officers not guilty in the death of Manuel Ellis.

Now Rankine and his wife are suing the state and city of Tacoma.

All three officers settled with the city for half a million dollars earlier this year and then resigned.

Now Timothy Rankine and his wife say the damage to their lives was so great they want more.

This, after a jury determined he and his fellow officers were not guilty of murder in the death of Manny Ellis.

“You think you got away with something but everybody’s going to be judged in the end,” said Brad Williams, a barber.

Emotions still run high inside the Goodfellas Barbershop when the subject of Manny Ellis comes up. The 33-year-old black man was repeatedly punched, tased, a spit hood placed over his head, in a deadly encounter with three Tacoma police officers four years ago.

“And I know of that man,” Williams said. “He used to go to this church over here.”

So, news that one of the acquitted officers, Timothy Rankine, and his wife, are now seeking $47 million in damages from the city and the state, well, it rankles.

“I don’t think anyone should be compensated for doing wrong,” Williams said.

A jury deliberated for three days before finding Rankine, Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins not guilty in Ellis’s death last December.

In January, the three officers each agreed to a half-million-dollar settlement with the city of Tacoma in exchange for turning in their badges.

Now, in the $47-million claim filing, Rankine is accusing the city and the state attorney general of “politically motivated, false allegations of biased policing and criminal misconduct, creating a hostile work environment, inciting hatred, threats, and violence toward me and my family.”

That does not sit well here.

“Because he already had his $500,000 depart,” said Leonard Olsen, barber. “And that’s it. Enough is enough. That’s just putting salt on the wound of disrespect.”

KIRO 7 spoke to Timothy Rankine’s attorney by telephone. She said she was too busy today to have a statement.

But she says she wants his voice heard. So, stay tuned.

The original version of this story noted the lawsuit at $94 million and has been corrected to $47 million.

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