May 29, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 474 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨Situational awareness: President Trump announced that the U.S. will be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy. Go deeper.

  • He also said the U.S. is leaving the World Health Organization.
1 big thing: Former officer in custody

A man rides a bicycle up to a law enforcement checkpoint today in Minneapolis. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The people of Minneapolis who took to the streets to protest got results this afternoon, but the nation will still enter the weekend on edge.

Why it matters: It's hard to imagine fired police officer Derek Chauvin being arrested so quickly on third-degree murder charges without this week's protests.

  • "[W]e felt it was important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced today.
  • "We have never charged a case in that time frame," said Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.
  • Minnesota AG Keith Ellison earlier today: "They are trying to be careful. They are trying to make sure their case is strong and airtight.”

Chauvin was the officer videotaped pinning George Floyd to the ground with a knee to his neck.

  • The complaint against Chauvin says that Floyd's autopsy did not "support a diagnosis of traumatic strangulation or asphyxiation," but noted that his underlying health conditions, the police restraint and any potential intoxicants in his system all "likely contributed to his death."
  • Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in total — two minutes and 53 seconds of that time was after Floyd was not responsive.
  • Full complaint.

The big picture: Minnesota politicians are begging residents to bring the violent protests to an end.

  • Dozens of buildings have been burned, looted or vandalized, and one man was killed earlier this week in the protests, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
  • The police have used flash bangs, tear gas and pepper spray.
  • The area is only four years removed from the death of Philando Castile, a black man who was killed by a police officer. (That officer was found not guilty of manslaughter.)

National TV viewers watched police arrest a reporter live on air this morning. Gov. Tim Walz subsequently apologized, and CNN's Omar Jimenez is once again reporting from the scene.

  • In Washington, President Trump just wrapped a press conference on China without taking questions.
  • Joe Biden has spoken with Floyd's family. “We are a country with an open wound. None of us can turn away,” Biden said in a speech today.
  • President Obama weighed in too: "This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’"

The bottom line: "My top priority now is the immediate security to make sure what happened the last 48 hours doesn’t happen tonight. The state of Minnesota has assumed that responsibility," Gov. Walz said today.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Men wearing protective masks and adhering to strict new social distancing regulations wait for the start of Friday prayer at Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

  • Turkey opened some mosques for Friday prayers for the first time since mosques across the country were closed on March 16.
2. Catch up quick
  1. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  2. Supreme Court: Sens. Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  4. Business: Fed Chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
3. 1 sports thing

An aerial view of the football field at Towson University. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NCAA released a long and detailed plan today to help schools bring athletes back to campus during a pandemic, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Schools across the U.S. are prepping for the return of football players as early as June 8.

Read the plan.

Mike Allen