Wednesday’s violent uprising at the U.S. Capitol was a frightening and tragic day in the American story, and the political and cultural aftermath has since turned ugly.
Yet amid the chaos and unfolding insurrection that day was hero Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, whose quick thinking prevented a group of charging thugs from entering Senate chambers, USA Today reported.
In a viral video captured by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic from inside the Capitol, Goodman is seen trying to contain the mob in what Bobic described as the “scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber.”
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
A man, later identified as 41-year-old Doug Jensen, led a group of protesters up the first flight of stairs while Goodman attempted to block the way.
Jensen and the crowd kept advancing, however, and when the mob made its way to the second-floor landing, Goodman made the split-second decision that many are crediting with saving lives.
Looking to his left and realizing the doorway to the chambers was unguarded, Goodman began backing toward the opposite doorway, luring Jensen and the rioters directly into a room full of police.
Goodman was universally lauded for his swift thinking and courage on social media.
“Eugene Goodman is a hero,” journalist Ian Miles Cheong tweeted along with the video footage. “For context, Officer Goodman used himself as a decoy to lead QAnon rioters into a room full of police and away from members of Congress who escaped up the stairs seen early on in the video.”
For context, Officer Goodman used himself as a decoy to lead QAnon rioters into a room full of police and away from members of Congress who escaped up the stairs seen early on in the video.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 11, 2021
“This moment in @igorbobic stunning footage,” CNN correspondent Kristin Wilson tweeted.
“In front of the officer, coming up the stairs, is a mass of rioters. The USCP officer glances to his left. Between those two chairs is the entrance to the senate floor. He lured them to his right, away from their targets,” she wrote.
“His name is USCP Officer Eugene Goodman. Remember his name,” Wilson urged in a follow-up tweet. “He almost certainly saved lives on Wednesday. My thanks, Officer Goodman. THANK YOU.”
His name is USCP Officer Eugene Goodman. Remember his name. He almost certainly saved lives on Wednesday.
My thanks, Officer Goodman. THANK YOU. https://t.co/DwvUqCkW8M
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) January 10, 2021
“The word hero does not appropriately describe officer Eugene Goodman,” former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison tweeted. “His judgment & heroism may have saved our Republic.”
He called on fellow Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn to consider Goodman “for the Congressional Medal of Honor.”
“It is the least we can do,” Harrison wrote.
The word hero does not appropriately describe officer Eugene Goodman. His judgment & heroism may have saved our Republic. I hope @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer @WhipClyburn consider him for the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is the least we can do. https://t.co/22qvikwCqh
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) January 10, 2021
Outnumbered and armed only with a baton, Goodman put himself between the rioters and the politicians he was in charge of protecting.
It didn’t matter that some of them supported a movement that called for officers to be disarmed and departments to be disbanded, or that they silently stood by while some in their party allowed Black Lives Matter protestors to loot and burn cities and terrorize their constituents for months on end.
Officer Goodman put himself in harm’s way to protect them all because that’s what the brave men and women in law enforcement do — and they usually consider it all in a day’s work.
While at least one officer was killed that day when a group of Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, no politician was harmed in the skirmish because of the bravery and presence of law enforcement, insufficient as their numbers were that day.
At least for today, there is good news in knowing there are still people like Officer Goodman in the world who are willing to selflessly sacrifice their own lives to save others.
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