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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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The memorial in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 21. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Minnesota judge on Tuesday sided with state prosecutors who are seeking a more severe sentence against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been convicted in the murder of George Floyd, according to court documents.

Why it matters: Chauvin faces a sentence of 10–40 years for second-degree murder, though he's unlikely to receive the maximum sentence due to his lack of a criminal record, according to AP. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Driving the news: Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill agreed with prosecutors that there is evidence to support four of the five aggravating factors that they sought:

  • Chauvin "abused a position of trust and authority."
  • Chauvin "treated George Floyd with particular cruelty."
  • Children were present during the crime.
  • The crime was committed "as a group with the active participation of at least three" other officers, who will face trial for aiding and abetting murder in August.

Yes, but: The judge did not endorse the argument that Floyd "was a particularly vulnerable victim," noting that he was still able to resist arrest and prevent officers from seating him in a squad car.

What they're saying: "The application of justice in this case offers hope that we will see real change in the relationship between police and people of color by holding officers properly accountable for egregious behavior and for failing to honor the sanctity of all lives," civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and L. Chris Stewart said in a statement.

  • The attorneys applauded Cahill for his ruling.

Read the full ruling.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the lawyers' statement.

Go deeper

DOJ investigating city of Phoenix and Phoenix police department

Phoenix Police confront demonstrators in 2017. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced in a press conference Thursday it is opening a "pattern or practice" investigation into the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.

Driving the news: The Justice Department's probe comes after the Biden administration reversed a Trump policy of not investigating police departments. It looks into several possible violations exhibited by the city's police department:

12 mins ago - Health

The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An FDA advisory panel may have green-lighted a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine for a somewhat narrow slice of the population, but the messy process of figuring out who should get another shot of the vaccine — and when — has likely just begun.

Why it matters: Many vaccinated Americans are worried about their level of protection as the pandemic continues to rage. The piecemeal booster decision-making process may be the best way to keep pace with the science, but it's also at risk of becoming extremely confusing.

2 hours ago - World

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."

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