Two officers investigated for policy violations related to Manuel Ellis’ death in March 2020 have been exonerated and cleared to return to work, according to a news release from the Tacoma Police Department.
Officer Armando Farinas was investigated for his “application of a spit hood” on Ellis, the police department said. “While the investigation did show that Officer Farinas placed the spit hood on Mr. Ellis, it was found the actions of Officer Farinas were reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances.”
Officer Masiyh Ford was investigated for use of force, the police department said. While the investigation found that Ford “took hold of Mr. Ellis’ legs to allow him to be detained in a restraint” it determined that Ford’s actions were “reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances and not in violation of department policy.”
Interim Police Chief Mike Ake made the decision to exonerate Farinas and Ford after a review of the internal affairs investigation. The investigation effort was led by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Washington State Patrol and the Attorney General’s Office, according to the news release.
Both officers are to return following weeks of training, the department said.
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