(WJW) – The mother of Jayland Walker was among the crowd as President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The White House and legislators from both parties invited guests to help drive home political messages.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus invited family members of individuals involved in police incidents. Among guests were the parents of Tyre Nichols, who was severely beaten by Memphis officers and later died.

“What happened to Tyre in Memphis happens too often. We have to do better. Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe,” Biden said during the speech. “We also need more first responders and other professionals to address growing mental health and substance abuse challenges. More resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training. All this can help prevent violence in the first place, and when police officers or departments violate the public’s trust, we must hold them accountable.”

Ohio Congresswoman Emilia Strong Sykes invited Pamela Walker as her person guest to the event.

“She experienced what no mother should ever have to go through but has displayed unwavering strength and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity,” Sykes said in a statement.

Jayland Walker, 25, was shot more than 40 times while running from Akron police officers on June 27. The incident followed a brief chase during which officers say he fired at them from his car.

The deadly shooting remains the focus of a BCI investigation.

Sykes commended what Biden said during the address.

“I applaud President Biden’s commitment to improve public safety and transparency in our nation so that all Americans can come home safely,” Sykes said in a statement. “I am optimistic the presence of families impacted by police violence, like my guest Ms. Pamela Walker — mother of Jayland Walker, killed by police in Akron last year — will center the humanity of the issue of police reform and public safety.”

Other Ohio guests included Harry Miller, the former OSU football player who stepped away in 2022 to focus on his mental health, and Saria Gwin-Maye, an ironworker from Cincinnati and member of Ironworkers Local 44.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.