The Attorney General’s Office is continuing its review of the Manuel Ellis case. While we are limited in what we can say about that review, we wanted to provide a short update of our work, and the anticipated timing of our decision.
The Washington State Patrol referred this case to the Attorney General’s Office in November. Our review of this case is the top priority of our Criminal Justice Division.
The State Patrol’s investigative file is publicly available to Washingtonians. Since the State Patrol’s referral, among other actions, our office completed the following:
- Created a review team consisting of: the Attorney General; Chief Deputy Attorney General; Chief of Staff; Deputy Attorney General; three Assistant Attorneys General in the Criminal Justice Division, including the Division Chief; an Assistant Attorney General in the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division; a Special Assistant Attorney General; and two retired state court judges. A majority of the members of the review team are persons of color.
- Interviewed civilian witnesses;
- Re-canvassed the neighborhood to identify additional potential witnesses;
- Requested and reviewed thousands of pages of documents;
- Retained multiple experts; and
- Interviewed the Tacoma Police Chief.
After receiving the case, one of the first steps our office took was reaching out to invite a meeting with the Ellis family. Our office remains in regular contact with the Ellis family’s representatives.
We appreciate and understand the desire for a conclusion to this review. Our work, however, must be thorough. A premature decision would be a disservice to the interests of justice.
Our office is continuing to interview witnesses, work with experts and review documents. While we cannot put a precise timeline on the completion of our review, we anticipate that the work of our experts, the witness interviews, and the obtaining and review of additional documents will be completed in the next six weeks. We will announce a decision soon after that work is completed, and provide our findings to the public.