Family of Black people killed by police among State of the Union guests


Mothers, fathers and siblings of black people killed by police will attend President Biden’s State of the Union as guests of the Congressional Black Caucus, which has pushed for police reform since the killing of Tyree Nichols. Emphasized.

Among the 15 invitees will be Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died after allegedly choking a New York police officer. Flonus Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose 2020 death became a catalyst for a summer of racial justice protests across the country. Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, was playing with a toy pellet gun when she was shot and killed by police. and Sterling Brown, who was pulled over by Milwaukee police for a routine parking violation.

Several attendees joined members of the Congressional Black Caucus at a news conference Tuesday calling for reforms including the widespread use of body cameras, a national registry for police misconduct and mandatory de-escalation training. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), the caucus chairman, told Tyre Nichols’ mother, Ro Vaughn Wells, and his stepfather, Rodney Wells, that lawmakers would continue efforts to honor Nichols. The 29-year-old was brutally beaten by Memphis police when he was pulled over for a traffic stop earlier this month, prompting an investigation and calls for a major overhaul of policing.

“It must have been Tyre-Nichols yesterday,” Horsford said. “But it could be any of us today and tomorrow.”

Police reform talks are back in Congress, but hope for a deal is slim.

Horsford alluded to Cox’s meeting with Biden and Vice President Harris last week, which he previously said ended with an “agreement.”

“We know action is needed,” Horsford said Tuesday. “Legislative action, executive action and community-based solutions. That’s what we’re calling for. That’s what we talked about with the president and the vice president. That’s what we’re going to hear tonight at the State of the Union. expect

Nichols’ parents have been invited to join First Lady Jill Biden in her viewing box for the president’s speech, along with other White House guests.

Several Republicans chose to honor law enforcement with their invitations. Rep. Mike Garcia (Calif.) will bring Tanya Owen, the wife of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant who was shot and killed by a suspect while responding to a burglary call in 2016. DeRemer (Ore.) will host law enforcement officers from their districts.

In addition to the guests, some lawmakers will promote police reform by donning an accessory: a black button marked with the year 1870, which commemorates the killing of an unarmed, free black man by a police officer in the United States. The first known example of Philadelphia police chased down and shot Henry Truman on March 31, 1870, the same year the nation adopted the 15th Amendment, giving black men the right to vote. The pins, distributed by Rep. Boone Watson Coleman (DN.J.), are meant to represent “history has repeated itself once again,” according to a note attached to the pins.

It reads: “153 years later, nothing has changed.” Watson Coleman has distributed about 30 pins.

Mariana Sotomayor contributed to this report.

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