City of Tacoma announcement.
TACOMA, Wash. – “Whether you have been listening to City Council study sessions or following the investigation into Manuel Ellis’ death, many of you know that we have been awaiting the decisions in the administrative reviews of the actions of the Tacoma police officers who responded to the scene the night of Manuel Ellis’s death.
Today, the City Council and I were notified that the first two administrative reviews related to the actions of the officers that have not been criminally charged have been completed. First, let me be clear on where the authority lies in these matters: State law and the City Charter prohibit the City Council and I from directly or indirectly interfering with the administrative decisions of the City Manager and Police Chief.
As your Mayor, I believe that the City of Tacoma has – in Interim Police Chief Mike Ake and City Manager Elizabeth Pauli – two dedicated and highly-qualified administrators entrusted to lead these processes and make these independent determinations. Overall, these extensive reviews included formal investigation records from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, and the Attorney General’s Office. As we heard from our Tacoma Police Department leaders in earlier presentations to the Council, this process also included the Washington State Patrol reopening its criminal investigation in September. The reopened investigation concluded earlier this month.
At the conclusion of a thorough process, Police Chief Michael Ake has shared his determination that the two uncharged officers, Armando Farinas and Masiyh Ford, did not violate any department policies. City Manager Elizabeth Pauli is in agreement with this decision. This determination follows on the Attorney General’s comprehensive review and decision last May to not bring any criminal charges against these officers.
While the time necessary to reach these conclusions was lengthy, I am confident in the City’s administrative review process, our administrative leaders, and the determinations announced today. For many, even far beyond the borders of our City, these administrative decisions have been preceded by a great deal of uncertainty and distress. These outcomes will no doubt be received with a wide range of deep emotions. As our community reacts to this news, I remind you today that we are stronger together. That is true today, and it will be true in the case of future decisions related to the death of Manual Ellis.
In order to uphold my oaths and the council to uphold its oath to not interfere in anyway with the prosecution of criminal cases filed against the remaining officers, our comments will remain limited in this matter.”