No charges for cops who killed Manuel Ellis: Acquitted. The Tacoma three cops who physically restrained Ellis in March 2020 to the point where he couldn't breathe and then died were acquitted on all second-degree murder and so too were the two cops charged with manslaughter. During a 10-week trial, the cops argued they weren't responsible for Ellis's death because they used their aggressive force after he "fought them... with extraordinary strength" and he died from a "high level of methamphetamine combined with his preexisting heart condition." The jury deliberated for three days before delivering the not-guilty verdict. As the trial wrapped up, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff warned the officers, "I would just be careful. A lot of emotions are running high right now.” 

To be expected: According to the Seattle Times, "Only six deaths at the hands of law enforcement have resulted in charges against police officers in Washington state over the past century. The last time three police officers were charged in Washington for a death was 85 years ago." So, expecting justice was a fool's errand. Leslie Cushman, the founder of the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, said, “I believe that if we had a verdict that held these officers accountable, we may have had some momentum that would have changed police culture. We are left without accountability for what many of us think was brutal, unnecessary, violent behavior. We’re appalled at the verdict.”

Protesters take to Tacoma streets: Over 100 protesters gathered in Tacoma after the verdict. They marched through the streets. Then, they gathered at the mural of Ellis in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood, lighting tea candles, making speeches asking for change. Stranger reporter Ashely Nerbovig was also there—we'll have a full report on Slog later this morning. 

New transitional housing village opens in Interbay: The Low Income Housing Institute opened a 35,000-square-foot lot with tiny homes and space for RV campers to park. Altogether, the space, known as Salmon Bay Village, will shelter 40 to 50 people. The goal of the village is to help transition people living in RVs into permanent housing. Once there, RV dwellers can keep living in their RV or take up residence in the nine tiny houses available. They'll receive access to "obtaining IDs, applying for income support, and help with housing navigation, employment, healthcare, and other supportive services." The lot, however, won't be Salmon Bay Village forever. In 2025, plans for a mixed-used apartment building and 22 pickleball courts on the lot will move forward. 

Nevermind baby keeps suing: Spencer Elden, the baby going full frontal on Nirvana's 1991 album, seems to really want a payday. He sued Nirvana saying he was the victim of "child sexual abuse imagery." A district court judge dismissed the claim since it wasn't filed within the 10-year statute of limitations. However, a US Court of Appeals panel of three judges reversed the decision because "'each republication' of an image 'may constitute a new personal injury,'” reports the Seattle Times

This fuckin' guy: A new recording just surfaced of then-President Donald Trump pressuring two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan to not certify the 2020 election results. He told them they'd "look terrible" if they certified the results, that "we've got to fight for our country," and "we can't let these people take our country away from us." The two didn't sign the certification that night, then, the next day, they tried to rescind their votes of certification, according to the Detroit News.

Ganja Joe: President Joe Biden announced people convicted of use and simple possession of marijuana on federal lands and in the District of Columbia would be eligible for pardons. He also granted clemency to 11 people serving “disproportionately long” sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. These are the latest moves from Biden to rectify racial disparities in the criminal justice system. We're going to need a lot more executive clemencies to right the ship in that realm, Joe. 

Feast on your one extra second of daylight: It's officially winter. The days are only getting longer from here. The weather will still be gross, though. 

ICYMI: An Australian fisherman says he may have found missing Malaysian flight MH370 nine years ago when he pulled up a jet airliner's wing with his net trawler. 

Hyperloop hits the breaks: Hyperloop One, the high-speed transportation firm using magnetic levitation for lickety-split quiet and fast travel, didn't win a single contract to build a hyperloop. The company is shutting down. It raised $400 million from investors. Looks like reinventing transit doesn't actually work. Let's throw $400 million at high-speed rail or a city bus system or something instead of investing in sci-fi pipe dreams.

Stamp Act Pt. II: The prices of stamps are going up! In the new year, a stamp on a letter weighing one ounce or less will cost 68 cents, an increase from 66 cents. This is the fifth stamp cost increase in two years.

Please don't yell at me in the comments: I know stamp price increases are not the same as the British parliament imposing "a tax on all printed materials for commercial and legal use such as wills and deeds, newspapers, pamphlets and even playing cards." I just wanted to use Stamp Act for a fun turn of phrase. And, yes, I did copy the definition of the Stamp Act directly from a History Channel article

Rite Aid's racist facial recognition program: The Federal Trade Commission banned Rite Aid from using facial recognition technology in its stores to surveil its clientele after the FTC found Rite Aid's tech was "falsely and disproportionately [identifying] people of color and women as likely shoplifters." Rite Aid isn't alone in using this kind of AI facial recognition tech. Macy's said it used "some" in stores. Home Depot said it collects “biometric information, including facial recognition.” Who else is stealing, studying, and profiling your face as you shop? 

House horseplay: Last week, a Senate staffer was fired for allegedly getting it from behind from another man inside a Senate building. Now, another investigation is underway into a different staffer who allegedly performed and filmed sex acts (masturbation, fucking) in House offices. These boys! The stains! No, not the stain of recent political history on our democracy. Just, different stains. Of the seminal variety.  
 
I hope you can hibernate a bit during these next few days: Here is my favorite, albeit stereotypical given my demographic data, wintertime song at the moment: