Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison cautioned in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, is "very early in the process" and that charges could be amended or added.

Why it matters: Chauvin was arrested last week and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, which implies that he did not intend to kill Floyd. Some protestors have demanded more severe charges, and Floyd's family has asked Ellison to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.

What he's saying: "To ask people to be patient who have suffered so long and been denied justice so long is really asking a lot of them. But if you want to make sure that this case results in a successful prosecution, you gotta understand the defense attorneys who are going to be on the other side are very skillful, and they will try to break every single link in the prosecutorial chain," Ellison said.

  • "So I ask people, you know, don't rush this thing. Let's get this thing right. Remember, the Walter Scott jury hung. The Rodney King jury came back acquitting the defendants."
  • "These cases, which look so obvious to us watching videotape — you get them into trial with some really good lawyers and things can go in a very different direction. So let's get this thing right."

Between the lines: Seven years after the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail, Axios' Ursula Perano reports.

  • Many prominent cases involving the controversial deaths of black people, particularly at the hands of police, have ended with either no charges or no jail time for police officers.

The big picture: Ellison said African American residents of Minneapolis have a legitimate reason to fear and distrust their local police offices based on "a history that has been repeated time and time again."

  • "I want to say that many officers are great people. I know so many of them, and I think [Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo] is an extraordinary person. And the mayor and the council deserve a lot of credit for appointing Mr. Arradondo. But it is an endemic problem in the Minneapolis Police Department."
  • "One problem is our police federation president, who operates as sort of an alternative chief, who I think undermines good order in the department."

Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, received backlash from city officials and the public after he spoke at a Trump rally in 2019, the Star Tribune reports.

Go deeper

The cities that are already defunding the police

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Defund the police" became a rallying cry for many people on the left almost overnight — but it's also having a real impact as cities move quickly to slash their police department budgets.

Driving the news: In the aftermath of the protests over the killing of George Floyd, city leaders are calling to cut law enforcement budgets or reallocate funds in at least 19 U.S. cities, according to Local Progress, which pushes for racial and economic justice and is tracking the issue in real-time.

Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

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Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.