Aug 24, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 663 words, a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Wisconsin on brink after cop shoots Black man

Protesters confront Kenosha County deputies last night. Photo: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Reuters

The next name you'll hear: Jacob Blake, 29, who is in serious condition after being shot seven times in the back by police officers while reaching into his car in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Why it matters: Black men are shot by white police officers at a disproportionate rate, and justice for these shootings is often scarce — or only initiated after mass protests and unrest.

  • Blake's kids — ages 3, 5 and 8 — were in the vehicle as he was shot.
  • The city was put under an emergency curfew last night after protests swept the city.
  • Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

The big picture: 2020 may eventually be remembered as the year public perception started to shift on structural racism, but the list of Black people shot by police officers continues to grow.

  • "The police want everybody to know they're out here to protect and serve, but you guys are constantly giving us — Black people, in particular — reasons not to let you guys protect and serve," witness Raysean White told CNN.
  • "We don't want you guys around because we are scared for our lives. You come to an incident to disarm an argument, and this Black man gets shot. It wasn't supposed to go down that."

"These shots pierce the soul of our nation," Democratic nominee Joe Biden said in a statement. "Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children."

  • "Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us."

Go deeper: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's coverage

2. Tonight's RNC sneak peek
Screenshot: MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” 

I'm told this is the speech from tonight's Republican National Convention opener that the Trump campaign thinks will get the buzz tomorrow:

  • In the 9 p.m. ET hour, Vernon Jones, a Democratic state representative from Georgia, will argue that Democrats have abandoned Black voters and the working class.
  • In an excerpt exclusively for Axios PM, Jones says, "We are free people with free minds. I am part of a large and growing segment of the Black community who are independent thinkers. And we believe that Donald Trump is the president that America needs to lead us forward."

What else to watch for: The prime-time lineup of Nikki Haley, Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Tim Scott is aimed at showing the country a diverse GOP, from the former UN ambassador and daughter of Indian immigrants to MAGA icon Don Jr. to the Senate's only Black Republican.

  • Don Jr., setting a template for the four nights, will paint Joe Biden as a leftist, while stirring in a positive policy vision for a second Trump term.
  • A source tells me Don Jr. will say that from China to taxes to immigration to free speech to law and order, "In fact, if you think about it, Joe Biden’s entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman."

Potential breakout star: Sean Parnell, a charismatic former Army Ranger who’s running in a hotly contested Pennsylvania race against Rep. Conor Lamb (D).

Follow Axios coverage here.

3. Catch up quick
  1. New York is suing the Trump Organization over an investigation into whether President Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of its assets on financial statements. Go deeper.
  2. German doctors said Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was probably poisoned but is not currently in danger of dying. Go deeper.
  3. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has told allies of President Trump that his constant attacks on mail-in voting are "not helpful." Go deeper.
  4. The United Arab Emirates canceled a planned trilateral meeting with the U.S. and Israel to send a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Go deeper.
  5. 🎧 "Axios Re:Cap" spoke with Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, about the Trump economy. Listen here.
4. 1 fun thing

Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

More 2020 weirdness: Jerry Seinfeld is writing N.Y. Times op-eds to rebut viral LinkedIn posts.

  • "Manhattan is an island off the coast of America. Are we part of the United States? Kind of. And this is one of the toughest times we’ve had in quite a while."
  • "But one thing I know for sure: The last thing we need in the thick of so many challenges is some putz on LinkedIn wailing and whimpering, 'Everyone’s gone! I want 2019 back!'"

Keep reading (subscription).

Mike Allen