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New York Attorney General Letitia James speaking in August. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Saturday she will empanel a grand jury as part of the state's investigation into the March 30 death of Daniel Prude, a Black man, who died seven days after being hooded and held down by Rochester police.

Why it matters: New York’s third-largest city was roiled by protesters this week calling for justice in response to Prude's death. James announced that her office is investigating the death, and Mayor Lovely Warren suspended seven officers involved.

What they're saying: “The Prude family and the Rochester community have been through great pain and anguish," James said. "My office will immediately move to empanel a grand jury as part of our exhaustive investigation into this matter.”

The big picture: Prude's brother said Wednesday that he called police on March 30 to say Daniel was having a mental health episode, and an autopsy ruled his death as a homicide from "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint," Rochester First notes.

  • The family has called for the officers involved to be fired.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Philadelphia police to release 911 tapes of Walter Wallace's shooting

A protest on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Philadelphia officials will release 911 tapes and body camera footage involving the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced at a briefing Wednesday.

The big picture: Wallace's death Monday sparked massive protests in the city and the Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday to quell unrest. A curfew that was imposed in Philadelphia from 9 p.m. Wednesday was due to expire at 6 a.m. Thursday.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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