Jun 9, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 574 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Georgia's primary elections have been a mess today because of operational malfunctions with the state's new $104 million voting machines. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • The issues have caused long lines and led some voters to give up, and Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has launched an investigation. (Axios)
1 big thing: Video exposes reality on police lies

An elderly man falls after appearing to be shoved by riot police in Buffalo, New York, June 4. Photo from video: WBFO/via Reuters 

One reality for black people that's becoming increasingly apparent to the rest of America: Police officers sometimes don't tell the whole truth.

Why it matters: It's no longer the word of a police officer vs. the suspect. Now it's the police officer vs. video cameras, often held by members of the communities they patrol.

The big picture: At least three big police departments have been caught in the act in just the past few weeks because of video footage, AP notes.

  • Minneapolis police initially told the public that George Floyd resisted arrest and that he died after a “medical incident during a police interaction.”
  • Buffalo police said a protester “tripped and fell.”
  • Philadelphia police alleged that a college student who suffered a serious head wound had assaulted an officer.

Reality checks, delivered by video:

  • George Floyd didn't resist arrest, and the Minneapolis police omitted the knee that a former officer placed on his neck for almost 9 minutes.
  • Protester Martin Gugino, 75, was pushed by Buffalo police officers and suffered brain damage. President Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory about Gugino today, but you can watch the tape for yourself. The man was shoved to the ground by cops, and no one stopped to help.
  • The Philadelphia officer was seen on video striking a 21-year-old Temple University student in the head and neck with a metal baton. That student was released after prosecutors saw the video and decided to pursue the officer instead.

The bottom line: Civil rights lawyer Michael Avery, who is the board president of the National Police Accountability Project, told the AP that false claims by the police had long been known to inner-city communities.

  • “But what is happening now with video, this is getting out into the larger world, into the media, into white communities, suburban communities, and people outside the affected communities are becoming more aware of what’s going on,” he said. ”It’s a completely different situation.”
2. "He is going to change the world"
During the service, the family of George Floyd received these gifts from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

George Floyd was lovingly remembered today at his funeral in Houston as Big Floyd — a “gentle giant,” a father and brother, athlete and mentor, and now a force for change. (AP)

  • Floyd’s brother, Rodney, told mourners: “He is going to change the world.”

Go deeper: The Rev. Al Sharpton's eulogy

3. Catch up quick
  1. The Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr. as the first African American chief of a military service branch in U.S. history. Go deeper.
  2. Airbnb has restarted internal conversations about going public in 2020, something unthinkable just a month ago. Go deeper.
  3. Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman doesn't regret returning a $10 million PPP loan. Go deeper.
  4. The World Health Organization clarified its comments about asymptomatic transmission, saying in a press conference that these carriers do take part in spreading the virus but that more information is needed to know by how much. Go deeper.
  5. Burundi's government says President Pierre Nkurunziza, 55, has died of a heart attack — though his death follows reports that he and his wife may have contracted COVID-19. Go deeper.
4. 1 fun thing

Screenshot via YouTube

We got our first look at Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Ted "Theodore" Logan in nearly 30 years today, with the first trailer for "Bill & Ted Face the Music," writes Axios' Shane Savitsky.

  • The film, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, features the pair failing to write a song meant to bring about world peace — and instead time-traveling into the future to steal it from themselves.
  • It was set to be released on Aug. 21, but with coronavirus-driven uncertainty still stifling theaters, the trailer only promises a release "this summer."

Party on, dudes.

Mike Allen