Posted on February 8, 2023

Biden Acknowledges Tyre Nichols’ Parents During State of the Union

Caitlin O'Kane, CBS News, February 7, 2023

The parents of Tyre Nichols were guests of President Biden during the State of the Union on Tuesday, about one week after Nichols’ funeral. The president spoke about his conversation with Nichols’ mother – and vowed to make her wish for her son’s legacy come true. He also urged police departments to hold officers accountable.

Nichols, a Black man killed by Memphis police officers during a traffic stop on January 7, was a 29-year-old father of a 4-year-old boy.

His mother, RowVaughn Wells, and stepfather, Rodney Wells, stood as Mr. Biden mentioned them during his address.


Mr. Biden spoke about the importance of community trust in law enforcement officers, who are often overworked and must play the role of “social workers, psychologists responding to drug overdoses, mental health crises, and so much more.”


Mr. Biden said the country needs more first responders and professionals to address the growing mental health and substance abuse challenges, more resources to reduce violent crime and gun violence, community intervention programs and more investment in housing, education, and job training – all of which “can help prevent violence in the first place.”

He also called on police departments to hold officers accountable when they violate the public’s trust.

While there were several partisan moments during the State of the Union – with Republicans showing displeasure with Mr. Biden’s address – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, notably stood for Mr. Biden’s line about holding police accountable when they violate the public trust.

“Let’s commit ourselves to make the words of Tyre’s mom true: Something good must come from this,” Mr. Biden said.