Tire Nichols’ parents and the man who disarmed the suspected Monterey Park shooter were invited to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
The brutal beating of Nichols by Memphis police and the mass shooting at a ballroom in Monterey Park, California this month renewed calls for police and gun control measures.
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said during an appearance on MSNBC Sunday that Nichols’ parents had accepted his invitation to attend the State of the Union.
“Today, I spoke with the Tire Nichols family on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus to offer them our condolences, to let them know we are with them, to ask them what they want from us right now, to honor the legacy of the their son and invite them to be our guests at the State of the Union on February 7 so we can ensure that this issue of police culture, police culture, which, sadly in this country has now contributed to countless deaths,” Horsford said .
Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the Monterey Park killer at a ballroom in Alhambra, California, minutes after the gunman killed 11 and injured at least nine others at the first site, was invited to the State of the Union Address by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif.
During an Alhambra City Courage Medal ceremony on Sunday, Chu said Tsay’s actions were “so amazing” that he invited him to be his guest at the president’s speech. But just an hour after speaking with Tsay, the president himself asked Tsay to be his guest, Chu said.
“I can’t believe you rejected me for president,” Chu joked to Tsay.
The president spoke with Nichols and Tsay’s parents in the wake of the tragedies.
On Friday, Biden spoke on the phone with Nichols’ mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, who were granted a private viewing of video showing Nichols’ brutal beating by Memphis police just days before his public publication last week. During his conversation with them, Biden expressed his condolences on the 29-year-old’s death and praised the family’s courage and strength, the White House said.
The president also said he was “outraged and deeply saddened” in response to the videos of Nichols’ beating. In a statement shortly after the videos were released, Biden called the images “horrifying”.
“It’s yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma and pain and exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day,” Biden said.
Biden called Tsay last week to thank him for his courageous act in disarming the Monterey Park killer.
“Instead of running away, Brandon said he thought he was going to die. But then he thought about the people on the inside,” the president said last week in remarks about the recent mass shootings in California that have affected the Asian-American community. “And in that moment, he follows his instinct. his courage … He charged the gunman, knocked him to the ground and took away a semi-automatic pistol.
The president intends to use his second State of the Union address to illustrate how legislation passed over the past two years has helped deliver key promises he has made to voters, particularly on the economy, as he prepares for a likely re-election.
The president’s upcoming speech to Congress is still a work in progress, aides stressed. But he’s also likely to face ongoing threats to democracy and burning political issues like more gun security and immigration.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com