President Joe Biden urged Congress to “do something” on police reform, a week and a half after bodycam footage was released showing five Memphis police officers brutally attacking Tyre Nichols, who later died.
“Public safety depends on public trust, as all of us know,” Biden said. “But too often that trust is violated.”
Nichols’ family were guests of first lady Jill Biden at Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“There’s no words to describe the heartache of grief of losing a child. But imagine — imagine if you lost that child at the hands of the law,” Biden said.
He noted that many Black parents have to speak to their children about how to respond to police officers when they are pulled over so they return home safely — a conversation that his family didn’t have to have.
Biden said police “risk their lives” when they do their jobs, but that attacks like that on Nichols happen “too often” and urged police to improve training and hold themselves to higher standards.
“Let’s do what we know in our hearts we need to do,” Biden said to Congress. “Let’s come together to finish the job on police reform. Do something. Do something.”
Biden’s Feb. 7 address comes nearly a year after Russia invaded Ukraine and amid new diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China over a suspected surveillance balloon. This is Biden’s second State of the Union address, as his first was a joint address to Congress in April 2021.
Last year, Biden used his address to emphasize themes of bipartisanship and unity. But he now faces a split Congress, with the GOP-led House launching efforts to investigate his family and his administration.
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