Second officer charged in Manny Ellis death testifies in trial

On Tuesday, Tacoma Police Officer Timothy Rankine testified about what happened the night Manny Ellis died.

Rankine, as well as Tacoma Police Officers Matthew Collins and Christopher Burbank are charged with Ellis’ death.

At points during his testimony, Rankine became emotional when recounting the sounds he heard over the radio of the fight between Collins, Burbank, and Ellis.

Rankine testified that when he and his partner arrived on the scene, Burbank and Collins were struggling to subdue Ellis. Rankine demonstrated to the courtroom how he assisted the officers.

Rankine said when fire officials arrived on scene, he also helped with the recovery effort.

"I know they called for additional fire units to arrive on scene, but I kept asking, ‘What do you need from us?’ And then he eventually asked to start CPR on Mr. Ellis," said Rankine.

Rankine testified he heard Ellis say he couldn’t breathe during the incident.

"The only response at that point in time that I could think of is, ‘If you can talk to me, you can breathe, but if you stop struggling and calm down, I’ll relieve some pressure off of you,’" he said.

The Attorney General’s Office special prosecutor, Patty Eakes, focused a large portion of her cross-examination on this element of Rankine's testimony.

Eakes: "You never followed up with Mr. Ellis and said, ‘Are you able to breathe,’ did you?"

Rankine: "No. I watched his chest rise and fall."

Eakes: "But you never asked him, ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Are you able to breathe?’"

Rankine: "Mr. Ellis wasn’t talking to anyone."

Eakes: "But did you ask him, officer?"

Rankine: "I did not."

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Eakes also pointed out Rankine didn’t tell any of the other officers on scene or fire units when they arrived that Ellis had said he could not breathe.

The defense pointed out that other officers, who are not facing any criminal charges, also heard Ellis say he could not breathe and did not mention it to other units, as well.