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Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Thursday reopened an inquiry into the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after a violent confrontation with police.

Why it matters: The executive order comes after mounting pressure from Black Lives Matter activists who elevated McClain's case after months of inaction. Thursday's move directs state Attorney General Phil Weiser to investigate McClain's death and pursue charges as he sees fit.

  • "Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern,"Polis said Thursday.

The state of play: McClain, a massage therapist, was confronted by law enforcement after reports of a suspicious person who was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms while walking down a street. Officers subsequently put him in a chokehold, keeping him on the ground for 15 minutes before paramedics gave him 500 milligrams of sedatives.

  • He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital, and was declared brain dead on August 27, 2019. McClain was taken off life support three days later.
  • McClain can be heard on police body cams pleading for officers to release him, stating, "Let go of me. I am an introvert. Please respect my boundaries that I am speaking."
  • "I have no gun. I don't do that stuff," McClain added.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.