The Week (US)
‘I can’t breathe’: Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson this week charged two Tacoma police officers with murder and another with manslaughter in the death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after repeatedly telling them he couldn’t breathe as he was being restrained. Ellis died Tasered, handcuffed, and hog-tied, with his face covered by a spit hood, in March 2020, two and a half months before George Floyd was killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis.
Ellis’ last words, “I can’t breathe, sir,” were captured on a security camera, as was an officer’s reply, “Shut the f--- up, man.” Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins face seconddegree murder charges; Timothy
Rankine was charged with firstdegree manslaughter. Witnesses reported that Burbank and
Collins, both white, attacked
Ellis unprovoked, and that
Rankine, described as Asian in court papers, put pressure on
Ellis’ back as the 33-year-old man said he was suffocating.
Mask face-off: Idaho Gov. Brad Little this week reversed a ban on local mask mandates that the state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, had imposed while Little was in Tennessee at the annual Republican Governors Association conference. Under the Idaho Constitution, McGeachin held power as acting governor while her boss and fellow Republican was away, and her order briefly negated all local mask mandates in the state. When Little returned, he called the ban from McGeachin, who is running for governor in Idaho’s 2022 race, an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt” that “amounts to tyranny.” Little had resisted a statewide mask requirement, leaving it to cities and counties to set their own policies. Numerous school districts still require facial coverings, as do two Idaho counties and 10 cities. McGeachin claimed she was just fulfilling her “sworn oath” to uphold the U.S. and Idaho constitutions.