A police officer is being hailed for his role steering an angry mob away from the Senate chambers during Wednesday’s deadly storming of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, identified by CNN reporter Kristin Wilson, could be seen in video footage distracting rioters away from the chamber as police raced to secure the area.
In the confrontation, Goodman puts himself between a man wearing a black QAnon T-shirt and a hallway leading to the Senate chambers, then shoves the person to induce him and the crowd to chase Goodman towards officers in the opposite direction.
Capitol Police did not respond to a request regarding the identity of the officer. The efforts by Goodman, who is Black, gave police the time needed to race to lock the doors to the Senate chamber, according to the Washington Post.
Several lawmakers have praised Goodman’s actions.
Jaime Harrison, an associate chair of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted: “The word hero does not appropriately describe officer Eugene Goodman. His judgment & heroism may have saved our Republic.” Harrison called for Goodman to be considered for the congressional gold medal.
US Representative Bill Pascrell wrote on Twitter on Sunday: “As Trump’s fascist mob ransacked the US Capitol, this brave USCP [United States Capitol police] officer kept murderous rioters away from the Senate chamber and saved the lives of those inside. God bless him for his courage.”
Congressman Scott Peters tweeted: “Officer Eugene Goodman strategically led an angry mob away from the Senate floor during last week’s insurrection. His courage & decisive action likely saved lives. We owe Officer Goodman & many other law enforcement officers who kept us safe that day a debt of gratitude.”
Several members of Congress with military experience, including Ruben Gallego and Jason Crow, have also been praised for calming frightened colleagues and helping with the evacuation during the chaos.
Trump, who has sought unsuccessfully to overturn his November election loss to Joe Biden by falsely claiming widespread fraud, had called on supporters gathered in Washington to protest against the congressional counting of electoral votes certifying Biden’s victory.
Five people including a Capitol police officer died as a result of Wednesday’s rioting and dozens of people have been charged.
Among the mob who stormed the Capitol were individuals who waved Confederate flags and wore clothing carrying insignia and slogans espousing white supremacist beliefs.
The chief of the Capitol police resigned after the attack and a federal prosecutor said he would charge any Capitol police member found to be complicit.
Two Capitol police officers have been suspended as a result of their actions during the attack. Tim Ryan, a Democratic senator of Ohio, said on Monday that one of the officers took a selfie with someone and the other put on a “Make America Great Again” hat. He said of the latter that the “interim chief determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension”.