U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, a native of southeast D.C., has been hailed as a hero and even deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal for his bravery and quick thinking during the unprecedented attack on the Capitol.
In a resolution recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers propose to honor Goodman for his actions that undoubtedly saved lives, including members of Congress, during the deadly insurrectionist attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“He’s a hero. The U.S. 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 Rep. 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. 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,” Crist said.
Crist and fellow Reps. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) 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,” Cleaver said.
Many watched in horror as the mob of Trump supporters confronted Goodman near a stairwell inside the Capitol. It first appeared that the officer had retreated in fear, hesitant because he was alone and without the backup of additional law enforcement officials.
However, as the video continues, it reveals Goodman courageously engaging the mob – at time raising his nightstick to keep them at bay as they gave chase. Goodman’s quick decisions proved strategic as a further look at the video revealed that he was offering a distraction so nearby members of Congress could be moved away from danger and out of the mob’s reach.
“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,” Mace said. “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 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.”
Goodman, 40, served in the U.S. 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.
“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,” Cleaver said.