A U.S. Capitol police officer is being hailed as a hero for cleverly steering a mob away from the Senate chambers during last week’s riots.
Footage shows officer Eugene Goodman all alone and just a few steps ahead of rioters. They’re waving Confederate flags and shouting at him as they chase him up a flight of stairs inside the Capitol building.
Goodman can be seen covertly looking at the entrance to the Senate, just a few feet away, then he lures the intimidating rioters in the opposite direction, risking his life.
This moment in @igorbobic stunning footage. 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. pic.twitter.com/knjQQ4GZ0d
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) January 10, 2021
In the video from HuffPost’s Igor Bobic, which you can watch here, Goodman can be heard shouting “second floor!” into his radio, alerting other officers that rioters are approaching the chamber area and the people who are in there. Just minutes later, authorities managed to seal off the chamber, keeping the people hiding inside safe.
Goodman, a veteran of the U.S Army who served in Iraq, is being praised for his bravery and decisive action in what must have been a harrowing situation.
“I don’t think there was any type of training that would prepare you for that situation,” New York Law School criminal law professor Kirk Burkhalter told the BBC.
“Police officer, not a police officer,” Burkhalter continued, “to see a Black man being chased by someone carrying a Confederate flag… That should never happen again.”
Since Wednesday, Members of Congress have been calling for Goodman to be recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his work.
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) January 11, 2021
U.S Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. tweeted on Sunday: “… this brave USCP officer kept murderous rioters away from the Senate chamber and saved the lives of those inside. God bless him for his courage.”
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Senator Bob Casey shared that sentiment, writing, “Last Wednesday, I was inside the Senate chamber when Officer Eugene Goodman led an angry mob away from it at great personal risk. His quick thinking and decisive action that day likely saved lives, and we owe him a debt of gratitude.”
Featured image: Igor Bobik/HuffPost
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