May 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Two men charged with murder in death of Ahmaud Arbery

A marker stands in front of the historic Glynn County courthouse May 6 in Brunswick, Georgia. Photo:
Sean Rayford/ Getty Images

Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault on Thursday for the February 23 death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, which was captured on an alleged cellphone video.

Why it matters: The release of video that appeared to show Arbery's death sparked a national outcry.

The state of play: Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot while reportedly out for his daily jog, according to his mother. The McMichaels pursued Arbery, after telling police they suspected he had committed a burglary.

  • The two white men were booked into the Glynn County Jail.
  • The case drew national attention leading up to Thursday's arrests, including President Trump telling reporters: "So I'm getting a full report on it this evening. My heart goes out to the parents and to the loved ones of the young gentleman. It's a very sad thing. But I will be given a full report this evening."

Go deeper

Trump's troubles grow, spread

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.

Social media takes on world leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Social media companies are finally beginning to take action on posts from world leaders that violate their policies, after years of letting them mostly say whatever they wanted unfiltered to millions of people.

Why it matters: Government officials are among the users most likely to abuse the wide reach and minimal regulation of tech platforms. Mounting pressure to stop harmful content from spreading amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests and a looming U.S. election has spurred some companies to finally do something about it.

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.