Monday, January 11, 2021

Medal of Freedom?
Black police officer E. Goodman who diverted white mob away from Senate chamber hailed a hero

By Josie Ensor, US Correspondent
A US Capitol Police officer has been hailed as a hero after video emerged of him diverting a crowd of angry rioters away from the Senate chamber. Officer Eugene Goodman is seen in video footage running down a set of stairs to the first floor of the US Capitol building, followed by a gang of rioters who managed to break through a line of police.

Officer Goodman, who is black, is seen looking to his left at the entrance to the Senate floor, and makes the split-second decision to lead the mob of mostly white rioters away to another part of the Capitol building. He is heard shouting “second floor” into his radio, alerting his colleagues that the mob was getting closer to the Senate.

The officer, who is without support, then seemed to bait the leader of the crowd, identified as Doug Jensen, into following him away from the Senate doors and into another room where back-up was waiting for Officer Goodman. Jensen was arrested days later, as were other members of the mob who were identified and charged in connection to the riot.

Footage of the incident was filmed by Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic. According to Mr. Bobic, the video was shot at 2.14pm — a minute before the chambers were sealed. Revealing his identity on Sunday, CNN journalist Kristin Wilson tweeted: “His name is USCP Officer Eugene Goodman. Remember his name. He almost certainly saved lives on Wednesday. My thanks, Officer Goodman. THANK YOU.”

Thousands responded with messages of thanks for Officer Goodman.

Pamela Colloff, a reporter for ProPublica, tweeted: “I did not fully grasp what was happening in this footage when I first saw it. Now it seems clear that this officer tricked the mob away from the unguarded door to the Senate, using himself - a Black man - as the bait. He is a national hero. And lucky to be alive.”

Others suggested he deserved a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Looking back on the chaos, Officer Goodman’s actions appeared to buy the Capitol Police time to secure Congress and stopped the insurgency from possibly reaching lawmakers. Several tales of heroism have emerged from the chaos of Wednesday's storming of the US Capitol, including fallen officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries after grappling with President Trump’s supporters.

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