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Unsealed interviews illuminate how Tacoma Police evaluated ex-officers conduct

Two men in suits with beards walk into a room with wood benches and fluorescent lights overhead.
Tony Overman
Pool Photo - The News Tribune
Christopher “Shane” Burbank (left) and Matthew Collins arrive in Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma, Wash., on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. The former Tacoma police officers were found not guilty in the death on Manny Ellis and the police department largely cleared them of wrongdoing three weeks after the verdict.

Since the three Tacoma police officers charged with killing Manny Ellis were acquitted at the end of 2023, leaders, lawmakers, and activists in the city and across the region have been trying to figure out how to move forward.

Sunday was the fourth anniversary of Ellis' death on March 3, 2020. The final episode of The Walk Home podcast from KNKX and The Seattle Times about the impact of his death is out now.

Click "Listen" above to hear an excerpt from the new episode. A warning, this excerpt includes strong language and graphic descriptions.

In it, KNKX reporter Jared Brown examines the recently unsealed internal affairs interviews with the officers involved for deeper insight into how the police department evaluated their conduct.

Listen to the entire episode, produced by KNKX special projects reporter Mayowa Aina and in partnership with The Seattle Times, at or wherever you get your podcasts.

Jared Brown is a Tacoma-based reporter for KNKX covering the intersections of policing, courts and power with a focus on accountability and solutions. He is currently a Poynter Media and Journalism Fellow. You can email him at
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