Closing out a week of dark accounts and violent footage from the Jan. 6. Capitol riot, the Senate unanimously voted to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal.
“I just put forward legislation to award [Officer Goodman] the Congressional Gold Medal—Congress’s highest honor. It passed the Senate. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to him, the Capitol Police, Metro Police, and teams that were protecting the Capitol on January 6.” tweeted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Officer Goodman was in the chamber at the time and received a standing ovation from the entire Senate. The Senate had just concluded day four of Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Goodman has remained one of the few bright spots from a very dark chapter of U.S. history. His quick and strategic thinking on Jan. 6 has been credited with saving the lives of lawmakers. Video footage showed Goodman leading a violent Trump mob away from Senate chambers and the area where Vice President Mike Pence was sheltering from rioters.
Goodman then lured the MAGA mob up flights of stairs where he eventually found more police reinforcement.
During the Senate impeachment trial this week, new surveillance video evidence emerged that shed even more light on the heroic actions of Goodman that day. Before leading the mobsters away from the Senate chamber, he also helped steer Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from danger.
“You all may have seen footage of Officer Goodman previously, but there’s more to his heroic story,” said Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) who narrated the footage.
“In this security footage, you can see Officer Goodman running to respond to the initial breach,” said Plaskett. “Officer Goodman passes Sen. Mitt Romney and directs him to turn around in order to get to safety. On the first floor just beneath them, the mob had already started to search for the Senate Chamber.”
After the footage aired, Sen. Romney, a frequent target of the MAGA crowd for his willingness to stand up to Trump, said he had no idea how close he was to danger, nor did he know that it was Officer Goodman who led him away from the mob.
“I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction,” Romney told reporters on Wednesday. He eventually thanked Goodman in person, per reports.
Goodman, 40, is a former Army veteran. During the Biden-Harris inauguration, it was announced that he 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.
On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi introduced similar legislation to honor Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers, who, although grievously outnumbered, fought to defend the Capitol.
Five people, including a police officer, died during the attack and two police officers died by suicide after the riot. Many officers are still recovering from their injuries.