Editor’s Note: It was announced at the Biden-Harris inauguration that Officer Goodman had been promoted to acting deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Senate, a prominent position of Capitol Hill security. He received rousing applause when he was announced at the inauguration and served as an escort for Vice President Kamala Harris at the ceremony.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman is a hero from Washington, D.C., who deserves the Congressional Gold Medal for bravery and quick thinking.
That statement sits at the heart of a resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lawmakers are seeking to honor Officer Goodman for his actions that may have saved the lives of many people, including members of Congress, during the deadly insurrectionist attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
“He’s a hero. 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,” Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist declared.
“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,” Crist continued. “While some will remember [that] 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.”
Congressman Crist, Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) announced H.R. 305, a bipartisan bill to honor Officer Goodman.
“This will show our gratitude to Officer Goodman for saving countless lives and defending our democracy,” Congressman Cleaver added.
Many watched in horror as the mob of Trump-supporters confronted Officer Goodman near a stairwell inside the Capitol. It first appeared that officer Goodman was retreating in fear, hesitating because no other law enforcement seemed nearby.
The video shows Officer Goodman engaging the mob, at times raising his nightstick to keep them at bay as they gave chase.
But it all proved strategic, and a close look at the video revealed that Officer Goodman merely was offering a distraction because Congress members were nearby and moments from harm’s way.
After reaching a landing, Officer Goodman intentionally draws the mob to the left of the stairway. What the violent mob did not know was just to the right was a gaggle of lawmakers seeking safety.
“When he was the only thing standing between Members of Congress and the violent mob, he quickly and selflessly redirected their fury upon himself, so those Members could escape,” Congressman Mace stated.
“Thanks to his valor, we are here today. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank him enough for his bravery and his dedication to the call of duty.”
The resolution to award Officer Goodman with the Congressional Medal reads, in part, “Officer Goodman alone, delayed the mob’s advance towards the United States Senate Chamber and announced the location of the incursion. Upon reaching the second-floor corridor, Officer Goodman noticed the entrance to the Senate Chamber was unguarded. As the mob approached, Officer Goodman intentionally diverted attention away from the Senate entrance and led the mob to an alternate location with additional awaiting officers.”
Officer Goodman, 40, served in the Army from 2002 to 2006, deploying with the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq for a year. His awards include a combat infantryman badge, indicating he was in ground combat.
During the assault on the U.S. Capitol, five people, including a police officer, died, and dozens more were injured.
Officer Goodman’s courageous action probably saved the lives of others, including members of Congress.
“In moments of crisis, there are always individuals who rise to the occasion and put themselves in harm’s way in defense of others. On January 6, 2021, Officer Eugene Goodman was one of those individuals,” Congressman Cleaver said.
Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire senior correspondent