Vice President Kamala Harris will attend Dyer Nicholas’ funeral Wednesday in Memphis, according to a White House official, who joined at the other senior level Biden administration officials in service.
Harris spoke on the phone with Nichols’ mother and stepfather, Rowan Wells and Rodney Wells, on Tuesday morning, the official said.
“The Vice President expressed his deepest condolences and extended support to the family to see them through this challenging time,” the official added.
Harris attends at the invitation of the Wells family. White House Director for the Office of Public Engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms and Senior Advisor to the President Mitch Landrieu will also attend.
Harris’ contact with Nichols’ parents came after President Joe Biden spoke with the Wells family on Friday, hours before the video of Nichols being beaten by police officers was released by Memphis officials.
The presence of management in funerals will present opportunities for federal law reforms in policing. The Wells family appears thin.
City of Memphis on Friday night He released body camera and surveillance video A 29-year-old man died three days later at a local hospital from injuries sustained in a Jan. 7 traffic stop and beating. The acquittal comes a day after five fired Memphis police officers were charged with murder.
Nichols was seen on video screaming for his mother — whom Memphis police officers hit multiple times — while her hands were restrained, including in the face, CNN previously reported. Although paramedics arrived minutes after the officers were fired, Nichols was apparently left unassisted on the sidewalk for a long time before an ambulance arrived.
The footage drew a shocked reaction from law enforcement experts and outrage from officials including Biden, who said it was “another harrowing reminder of the deep fear and trauma, pain and exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every day.”
In his own statement Friday, Harris said, “Tyre Nichols should have owned it up to his family. Yet America mourns, once again, the brutal mutilation of a son’s and father’s life at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.”
He added, “The continuing issue of police misconduct and excessive use of force in America must end now.”
Harris’ presence at the funeral comes after it was announced Nicole’s parents will attend President’s State of the Union address on February 7.
Congressional Black Caucus Executive Director Vincent Evans tweeted Sunday that caucus chairman, Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada invited Nichols’ parents to Washington as guests of the caucus, and they accepted the invitation.
Biden faces renewed calls to discuss police reform in his speech to Congress. Horsford said in a statement Sunday that the CBC is seeking a White House meeting this week to press for negotiations.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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