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Biden to discuss police reform with Congressional Black Caucus members Thursday

The Congressional Black Caucus said it requested a meeting to “push for negotiations on much needed national reforms to our justice system."

The Congressional Black Caucus will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday to discuss police reform in the wake of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by police in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Congressional Black Caucus said this week that it had requested a meeting to “push for negotiations on much needed national reforms to our justice system — specifically, the actions and conduct of our law enforcement,” Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., the caucus chair, said in a statement.

Horsford called on members of the House and the 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.”

“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,” Horsford said, announcing the request to meet with the president.

The caucus confirmed Tuesday that the meeting was set for Thursday and that it will include Horsford and a small group of attendees, not the entire caucus. The specific attendees and exact the timing of the meeting have not been confirmed.

The White House also told reporters about the coming meeting.

“President Biden spoke yesterday with Representative Horsford and plans to host a small group of Congressional Black Caucus members at the White House this Thursday to discuss police reform legislation and other shared priorities,” Olivia Dalton, White House principal deputy press secretary, told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday.

“President Biden is committed to doing everything in his power to adjust, to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all,” Dalton added.

Several White House officials are scheduled to attend Nichols’ funeral Wednesday, Dalton said.

News of the meeting comes amid a resurgence of demands for policing and gun control measures in response to the brutal beating of Nichols, as well as a mass shooting at a dance hall in Monterey Park, California, this month.

The parents of Nichols and the man who disarmed the Monterey Park suspect have been invited to attend the president’s State of the Union address Feb. 7.

Biden last week spoke by phone with Nichols’ mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, who were allowed a private viewing of the video showing the brutal beating of Nichols by Memphis police before it was released last week. Biden expressed his condolences and commended the family’s courage and strength, the White House said.

He also said he was “outraged and deeply pained” in response to videos of the beating. In a statement shortly after the videos were released, he called the images “horrific.”

“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,” Biden said.