WASHINGTON – The parents of Tyre Nichols, the Black man who was severely beaten by a group of Memphis, Tennessee, police officers and died days later, will attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address next week at the U.S. Capitol.
RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, the mother and stepfather of Nichols, have accepted an invitation to attend the speech from Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to Vincent Evans, a spokesperson for the group of Black lawmakers.
Videotape released last week of the violent Jan. 7 encounter between Nichols and the police officers shows the officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes while screaming profanities at him.
Nichols was hospitalized and died on Jan. 10.
Five police officers, who also are Black, have been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other offenses in Nichols' beating and death. On Monday, two more Memphis police officers were disciplined and three emergency medical technicians were fired in connection with the case.
Horsford said it was important for Nichols' parents to hear from the president and their elected representatives in Congress.
“I have invited the Nichols family as guests of the Congressional Black Caucus so they will be there on that day to hear from the president and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to hear how we will finally take action to keep our communities safe,” Horsford told MSNBC on Monday.
Lawmakers this year are allowed to take guests with them to the House chamber for the Feb. 7 speech for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic.