Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

What does Manuel Ellis' death in police custody mean for Tacoma?

A person kneels with their fist in the air at a June 5, 2020, demonstration against police brutality in Tacoma.
Parker Miles Blohm
A person kneels with their fist in the air at a June 5, 2020, demonstration against police brutality in Tacoma.

On the final episode of The Walk Home, KNKX Special Projects reporter and producer Mayowa Aina asks big questions about what Manuel Ellis' death in police custody means for the city of Tacoma.

During a conversation with KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick, Aina said she sought answers from people who have all been touched by Manny's death differently.

One was Manny's sister, Monét Carter-Mixon. Her persistence in finding the truth about her brother's death prompted an investigation from the state Attorney General's Office and charges for three Tacoma Police Officers.

Today, Carter-Mixon is learning to live with what happened and shares how this process has impacted herself and her family.

Community activists in Tacoma discuss what has and hasn't changed since Manny's death, and draw connections to instances of racialized violence throughout history.

Aina also examined Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards' statements over the past two years. Woodards, a Black woman, reacted with passion when the video of Manny's death was first released. As the case has progressed, Woodards has said much less.

Although this is the last episode of The Walk Home, the story isn't over. KNKX and the podcast team will continue to have regular updates.

KNKX South Sound reporter Kari Plog is covering Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer’s trialright now. The state attorney general charged him with two misdemeanors because of an interaction he had with a neighborhood newspaper carrier. The Walk Home coveredTroyer in Episode 7.

KNKX will also cover the trial of the three officers charged in Manny’s death: Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins, and Timothy Rankine. That trial is set for September 2023.

Updated: December 5, 2022 at 10:23 AM PST
The criminal trial of the Tacoma police officers has been delayed from January to September 2023.
Mayowa Aina covers cost-of-living and affordability issues in Western Washington. She focuses on how people do (or don't) make ends meet, impacts on residents' earning potential and proposed solutions for supporting people living at the margins of our community. Get in touch with her by emailing
Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Vivian McCall is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host. She previously spent eight years as a reporter in Chicago, where she wrote for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ public radio.