Five Memphis cops charged in Tyre Nichols’s death: On Jan. 10, Nichols, a 29-year-old Black FedEx worker, died after being savagely beaten during a traffic stop on his way home from taking pictures of the sunset. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy charged the five involved officers, all of whom are Black, with “second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression” on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Footage from the traffic stop will be released Friday evening.
Nichols’s family and legal team have already seen the video: And their response has been, essentially, “when you see this please don’t riot.” Some thoughts from the Nation’s justice correspondent:
I feel like people who are *surprised* that the cops who did this are black are about to learn a part of "the Talk" that my parents at least always emphasized: The race of a cop is "cop." *Never* be under the illusion that a Black cop is less likely to brutalize you or kill you.— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 26, 2023
745 people died in Washington traffic deaths last year: That’s the most traffic deaths in our state in 30 years. The trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, with new pedestrian deaths happening seemingly every day. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Olympia proposed a suite of bills addressing the issue. So far, solving the problem could look like adding a bunch more state troopers in their silly outfits to the streets, adding more traffic cameras to construction zones, and banning right turns on red lights. The real problem, if you ask any sane person, is cars. If we ever invent time machines, then I’m using that sucker to go back in time and kill whoever decided that planning our pathetic American lives around the automobile was a good idea.
The EV hype won’t save us from ungodly climate deaths: Speaking of how cars suck, lauding electric vehicles as the ultimate climate solution isn’t going to get us anywhere, according to Bloomberg. The EV hype is distracting from a real climate solution: public transit. A 2021 study found “energy saved by passengers in the US using public transit rather than personal vehicles saved 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018—roughly the equivalent of taking 16 coal-fire power plants offline for a year.” But our transit infrastructure is aging, and we’re not investing in it. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave US transit systems a D- on a 2021 infrastructure report card.
Sarah Reyneveld is jumping in: The assistant attorney general is running to replace Jeanne Kohl-Welles on the King County Council. Read more from Rich here.
Georgia governor declares state of emergency: because of the protests in Atlanta against the construction of a giant cop training facility. If you’re just catching up on this whole thing, then watch this video from The Daily Show:
Yakima shooting victims identified: Three people died in a shooting Tuesday at a Circle K in Yakima. The victims were Nikk Godfrey, 40, and Roy Knoeb Jr., 65, both from Yakima, and Jeffrey Howlett, 54, from Selah. Police searched for the alleged shooter, Jarid Haddock, 21, for hours before they found him dead behind a Target with a self-inflected gunshot wound.
We’ve got dino bones, but how do dinos bone? With so few soft tissues in the fossil record, scientists can’t figure out how these freaky lizards fucked. This research matters if we want to know more about evolution. Last year, scientists delineated a dinosaur asshole and determined some dinosaurs had cloacae, or one hole for excreting and mating. Other dinosaurs have clits and phalluses. News you can use! Thanks, Popular Science.
The 2020s officially have their own Bronies: The internet wouldn’t be the internet without a bunch of adults obsessing over a kid show more than the show’s intended audience. It happened with My Little Pony, and it’s sure as shit happening with this Australian show about a family of anthropomorphic dogs, Bluey. Adult fans are going bananas for these Blue Heelers. Hold on, let me check something. Okay, yep, just as I expected. The popular fan-fiction site Archive of Our Own already hosts at least 365 Bluey fan-fictions. Some contain explicit content warnings. Why must we make everything horny?
Jeff Bezos’s girlfriend wants to blast off: Lauren Sanchez, otherwise known as “Alive Girl,” wants to take an entirely female crew to space on a Blue Origin mission in 2024. Even a billionaire’s girlfriend needs a project to get out of bed in the morning.
Here come the water wars: California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico all use the Colorado River for water. With water levels in this crucial river shrinking—and levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, vital reservoirs for California, Nevada, and Arizona, falling precipitously low—these seven states must come up with a plan to reduce their water use. The Interior Department asked for a plan from the states by Jan 31. The odds that’ll happen seem slim. So, the federal government will have to step in for the first time in a century of states determining how to share the river’s water. How this plays out will have lasting impacts for the American southwest.
Green comet incoming: At least something is going green these days. This green comet hasn’t popped by Earth for 50,000 years. You can catch a glimpse of the comet from the end of January through Feb 10.
A bad time to be Jay Leno: The comedian broke his collarbone and cracked two ribs and both his kneecaps in a motorcycle accident this month. Back in November, Leno suffered serious burns after a garage fire at his house. Jay, please, can we cool it?
The FDA might want your gay and bisexual blood now: In a draft proposal on blood donor requirements, the Food and Drug Administration considered allowing men who have sex with men to donate blood regardless of the last time they slept with a man. Currently, gay men can only donate blood if they haven’t slept with a man for three months. The draft language is vague, but the FDA seems to be considering only screening people with HIV-relevant questions instead of screening based off sexual activity alone. However, people who use PrEP or PEP, preventative HIV drugs, cannot donate because the drugs make HIV in blood harder to detect, the FDA says. This is great because in Washington we’re experiencing another blood shortage. It seems like we’re always in a blood shortage.