Jason Van Dyke. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting of Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald.

Why it matters: McDonald's shooting in 2014 was highlighted as part of a trend of fatal police shootings of black men that sparked waves of protests throughout the country and also prompted an investigation from the Department of Justice, as well as new department initiatives.

The Details: The prosecution argued that Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times was "completely unnecessary" and focused on the shots that hit McDonald as he laid on the ground.

Van Dyke testified that he and McDonald never lost eye contact and waved his knife at him and said he feared officers on the scene were under attack.

The backdrop: McDonald was shot 16 times by Van Dyke just seconds after he arrived on the scene after hearing dispatch reports of someone breaking into vehicles of in a trucking yard. Dashcam footage showed McDonald moving away from officers, contradicting Van Dyke's testimony.

Go deeper

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

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