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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

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.

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

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