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Photo: Liang Sen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two high school basketball coaches in Georgia have been charged with murder following the death of 16-year-old Imani Bell, who collapsed after running drills in nearly 100-degree heat.

Why it matters: The murder charges are the first ever levied against coaches accused of negligence, according to a lawyer representing the family in a related lawsuit.

Driving the news: Last month, a grand jury in Clayton County indicted LaRosa Maria Walker-Asekere, the head basketball coach at Elite Scholars Academy, and Dwight Broom Palmer, the assistant basketball coach, on charges of second-degree murder, cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

What happened: Bell, then a junior at Elite Scholars Academy, was running up football stadium steps on Aug. 13, 2019, during a practice session held in "extreme heat," per a lawsuit filed in February by the girl’s parents.

  • The temperature that day was approximately 98 degrees. The heat index temperature was between 101 and 106 degrees, according to lawyers for the family. Clayton County had issued a heat advisory for the day, they said.
  • That afternoon, Bell "struggled to run up the stadium steps as directed," the New York Times reports. At one point, she was forced to hold on to the railing to remain upright. Upon nearing the top of the steps, she collapsed and lost consciousness.
  • An ambulance arrived to transport her to the hospital, where she died later that evening.
  • A subsequent autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations found that Bell's death was "solely attributable to heatstroke caused by strenuous physical exertion in extreme temperatures," the lawsuit says.

What they're saying: "Imani Bell's name will now stand for change in sports across this country. Coaches will have to think twice about the level they are willing to push athletes to — to win," attorney Chris Stewart said during the press conference

Go deeper

Capitol Police arrest man in "suspicious vehicle" outside of Supreme Court

U.S. Capitol Police inspect a suspicious vehicle after it was parked outside the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Capitol Police said officers pulled a man from a "suspicious vehicle" that was illegally parked in front of the Supreme Court Tuesday after closing several streets and advising the public to stay away from the area.

The big picture: Police said the man, identified as 55-year-old Dale Paul Melvin from Kimball, Michigan, is in custody and no one was injured.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID-19 complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.