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United States: New investigation into death of asphyxiated black man during arrest

A new investigation was opened by Washington State authorities in the United States into the death of a black man during his arrest last March. A video broadcast shows the person arrested begging the police. “I can’t breathe, sir,” cried the 33-year-old.

Washington state authorities on Wednesday announced a new investigation into the death of a black man when he was arrested by police in March after he complained of being asphyxiated, like George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. Northwestern state governor Jay Inslee says he’s “convinced” that the investigation into the death of Manuel Ellis could not be left to the sheriff and the Pierce county attorney because of a “conflict of interest”.

This decision by the Democratic governor comes after the broadcast of a video taken by the surveillance camera of an individual showing Manuel Ellis handcuffed, begging the police during his arrest on March 3. A passerby also partially recorded the scene using her telephone.

“I can not breathe”

“What we learn from this video is that Manny Ellis didn’t just say ‘I can’t breathe’, he said ‘I can’t breathe, sir,'” said at a conference. urges the victim’s family lawyer. For him, “this clearly shows that he is struggling to breathe but that he is also trying to remain respectful during his last moments of life. It is a sign that he was not the aggressive person that the police described “, he added.

Manuel Ellis died of respiratory arrest related to physical restraint, the autopsy revealed, stressing that the presence of methamphetamine in his body and heart disease may also have contributed to the death of this 33-year-old man. The mayor of the city of Tacoma, about 50 km south of Seattle, asked last week that the four police officers involved in the case, who have been placed on administrative leave for now, should be dismissed and prosecuted.

The latter claimed that they had arrested Manuel Ellis because he was trying to “open the doors of vehicles in which there were occupants”. According to them, a physical altercation took place and they must have brought the suspect under control.

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