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Council Member Olgy Diaz on Police Chief’s Announcement

A Statement From Council Member Olgy Diaz on Police Chief’s Announcement Regarding Separation of Three Tacoma Police Officers


January 17, 2024



Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Council Member Olgy Diaz on Police Chief’s Announcement Regarding Separation of Three Tacoma Police Officers

“The too long-awaited announcement by our Police Chief on January 16 about the separation of three Tacoma police officers from City employment is an important step in the process of justice for Manuel Ellis.


This separation comes after the resolution of a needed investigation, but this is not the final resolution for our community.


It is my hope that our community continue to work with us to improve our systems and build back belief and trust.


Closing this chapter is important for our community’s ongoing healing and for our police department’s ongoing reforms to take hold.


When I took my oath of office just last week for my first full term, I swore to uphold our City charter and our state and federal constitutions.


I take the weight of upholding what’s right in our democratic systems and constantly fixing what is flawed in our institutions very seriously and it’s frankly why I sought to serve.


I believe that our systems must be constantly adjusted to be responsive to community needs and best practices in our various services.


As a Latina, I know firsthand that many of our government systems were not only built without certain communities in mind, but that many were built with the intention of harming and othering BIPOC communities and those furthest from power.


Just last week, border patrol agents in Texas refused to help migrants crossing the Rio Grande and instead watched as a woman and her two children drowned. This kind of blatant disregard for human life is inhumane and not something that should be sanctioned under any government.


I am tired of our government’s broken systems, policies and processes being the difference between life and death for those outside of power and without historic access to justice.


It is my goal to continue the police reform work my Council colleagues and City officials have started since the death of Manuel Ellis and stop the discovery of cracks in our systems on the backs of Black and Brown Tacomans.


I hear the pain in community’s voice and I feel it, because none of us are free from harm if our systems are not constantly reviewed and adjusted to reflect the humanity of our residents.


Further, I look forward to learning more about the findings of U.S. Attorney's Office review of the state's case surrounding Manny Ellis' death.


We should not, and I do not, fear additional scrutiny of our processes, but rather welcome it as opportunity for growth, healing, and improvements.


It is my hope that continuous improvement of our practices and policies will bring about more trust and safety in our community and I will do my part in helping make all Tacomans feel safer through our work on Council.”