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Monterey Park hero and Tyre Nichols’ family invited to attend State of the Union address

By Aaron Pellish, Annie Grayer and Jack Forrest, CNN

Lawmakers have invited the parents of Tyre Nichols and the man who disarmed a gunman in a Southern California mass shooting to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on February 7.

Nichols’ death days after being beaten by police in Memphis on January 7 and the mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park on January 21 that killed 11 has outraged many Americans and brought renewed calls for sweeping gun and policing reform ahead of Biden’s address.

Congressional Black Caucus executive director Vincent Evans tweeted on Sunday that the caucus chairman, Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, invited Nichols’ parents to Washington as guests of the caucus, and that they have accepted the invitation.

CNN has reached out to Nichols’ family for comment.

Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the Monterey Park gunman as he attempted to attack a second dance studio near Los Angeles, was invited to the speech by Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California.

Chu said Tsay’s story “was so amazing” that she called him to be her guest at the president’s address. But just one hour after Chu spoke with him, Biden called Tsay to personally offer his own invite, Chu said. The White House declined to comment on Sunday.

Tsay, 26, was awarded a medal of courage from the Alhambra Police Department during a ceremony Sunday. Biden called him last week to thank him for his act of bravery, CNN previously reported.

“I wanted to call to see how you’re doing and thank you for taking such incredible action in the face of danger,” Biden told Tsay. “I don’t think you understand just how much you’ve done for so many people who are never going to even know you. But I want them to know more about you.”

Calls for Biden to discuss policing reform at SOTU

In an interview on MSNBC on Sunday, Horsford said he called Nichols’ family to extend the invitation.

“Earlier today, I spoke to the family of Tyre Nichols on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus to first extend our condolences to them, to let them know that we stand with them, to ask them what they want from us in this moment, to honor the legacy of their son, and to extend an invitation to them to be our guest at the State of the Union on February 7 so that we can make sure that this issue of police culture, culture of policing, which, unfortunately in this country has now contributed to countless deaths,” he said.

Protesters took to the streets over the weekend to decry police brutality after the release of video depicting the violent police beating.

Nichols, 29, could be heard yelling for his mother in the video, which begins with a traffic stop and goes on to show officers repeatedly beating him with batons, punching him and kicking him — including at one point while his hands were restrained behind his back.

He was left slumped to the ground in handcuffs, and 23 minutes went by before a stretcher arrived at the scene. Nichols was eventually hospitalized and died three days later.

Biden said in a statement he was “outraged and deeply pained” after seeing the video. “It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”

The CBC is requesting a meeting with Biden this week to push for negotiations on police reform, Horsford said in a statement Sunday.

“We are calling on our colleagues in the House and Senate to jumpstart negotiations now and work with us to address the public health epidemic of police violence that disproportionately affects many of our communities,” he wrote. “The brutal beating of Tyre Nichols was murder and is a grim reminder that we still have a long way to go in solving systemic police violence in America.”

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CNN’s Tina Burnside and Sarah Moon contributed to this report.

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