A bipartisan group of House members have introduced legislation to honor the U.S. Capitol Police officer who diverted a mob away from lawmakers in the midst of the violent riot that took place there Jan. 6.
Officer Eugene Goodman encountered a throng of angry, shouting Trump supporters, was seen on a video that has now gone viral, taken by Huffington Post politics reporter Igor Bobic diverting the mob away from the Senate chamber, which was not guarded and could have led them directly to lawmakers.
He has been hailed as a hero for his action, which averted more serious damage and possibly injury or loss of life when he used himself to bait the rioters away.
U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist, Emanuel Cleaver II and Nancy Mace are sponsoring a bill to award Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal.
“The United States Capitol was under attack by armed, violent extremists, and Officer Eugene Goodman was the only thing standing between the mob and the United States Senate,” said Crist in a news release. “I shudder to think what might have happened had it not been for Officer Goodman’s fast thinking and commitment to his duty and his country. While some will remember last Wednesday for the very worst in our country, the patriotism and heroics of Officer Eugene Goodman renew my faith and remind us all what truly makes the United States great.”
According to local Washington D.C. station WUSA, Goodman is an Army veteran who served in Iraq. Meanwhile, U.S. Capitol Police have criticized for what was a security breakdown in the building. In one video, officers seem to open doors to let them in, despite the breaching of security barriers outside.
At least one is seen in a photo taking a selfie with a rioter. Five people died, including a woman who was shot to death by an officer as she tried to break through a window with others in the mob, and also Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of injuries after being beaten by the mob. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned a day after the riot.
More than 70 people have been charged with crimes connected to the riot, a U.S. federal attorney says, and that is expected to increase significantly.