LThe awmakers have invited the parents of Tire Nichols, the man who died after being beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee earlier this month, and Brandon Tsay, the man credited with saving lives by disarming the gunman in a second attempted mass shooting in Monterey Park. California, to attend the State of the Union address on February 7th.
President Joe Biden’s speech was already likely to discuss police reform and gun control, and after the brutal killing of Nichols and more mass shootings, including the one in Monterey Park, that likelihood seems almost a certainty.
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RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, and Rodney Wells, his stepfather, were invited to the State of the Union by Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV), chairman of The Black Caucus. They have accepted. Tsay was invited by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and then Biden himself extended the same invitation, which Tsay accepted.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump speaks at a press conference with RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tire Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, and his stepfather Rodney Wells, right, in Memphis, Tennessee, Friday, January 27. 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Nichols, 29, was hospitalized after Memphis police officers assaulted him during a Jan. 7 traffic stop. He later died from his injuries, police said, on January 10. The city released a graphic video this week of the beating and Nichols’ death has renewed calls for police reform. Protesters walked the streets over the weekend to denounce police brutality.
Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith are charged with second degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, aggravated assault in concert and two counts. of aggravated kidnapping.
Haley, Martin and Smith are in jail on $350,000 bond, and Bean and Mills were held on $250,000 bond. The officers were part of the city’s Scorpion Unit (Street Crime Operations to Restore Peace to our Neighborhoods). It has since disbanded.
Brandon Tsay displays a Metal of Courage award after being presented by Alhambra Police Chief Kelley Fraser, right, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Alhambra, Calif. Tsay, who disarmed the killer in the room of Monterey Park while pursuing a second dance at the Alhambra, was honored Sunday with a medal of courage during the Alhambra’s Lunar New Year Festival. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Tsay, 26, received a Medal of Valor from the Alhambra Police Department during a ceremony Sunday. Biden also called him last week to thank him for his heroic action, CNN reported.
Huu Can Tran, 72, is accused of killing 11 people and injuring nine others in a mass shooting in Monterey Park on January 21. Tran allegedly shot up one dance studio and less than half an hour later, attempted to shoot up another. one Tsay is credited with wrestling the shooter’s gun after the first attack, saving lives. Tran was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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In his State of the Union address, the president will address his administration’s top priorities, which are expected to include the economy and abortion access. Biden’s ability to pass more of his agenda in the next two years of his term depends on the ability of a divided Congress to compromise. It will be Biden’s first appearance before the Republican-led House.