UPDATED: 6:45 p.m. ET, Feb. 12:
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman on Friday was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, an honor bestowed by the government to express the highest levels of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.
Goodman was widely hailed for his heroics during the attempted Capitol coup by diverting both the mob of right-wing extremists as well as Senators and their families so that neither came in contact with the other during a chaotic moment that led to Donald Trump’s second impeachment.
Goodman was recognized on the Senate floor Friday after Trump’s impeachment lawyers and House Impeachment Managers brought the fourth day of the impeachment trial to an end.
Goodman was also rewarded for his bravery on Jan. 6 by being promoted to acting deputy House Sergeant at Arms.
Goodman, who is Black, was recorded on a since-viral video diverting an all-white mob of domestic terrorists away from the Senate floor after they and others violently — and illegally — broke into the U.S. Capitol while Congress convened to certify Electoral College votes from the 2020 election.
Another video of Goodman that had been unseen before the impeachment trial showed Goodman diverting Sens. Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer away from the rioting domestic terrorists whose activity resulted in at least seven deaths.
More than a month later, the country remained in deep gratitude to Goodman for upholding his oath to protect and serve, something that stood in stark contrast to the potentially treasonous actions of some of his Capitol Police Department colleagues who appeared to aid and abet members of the riotous group of thugs whose actions that fateful day led to at least five deaths, including two police officers.
That’s why a bipartisan group of Congressmembers last month introduced a bill to award Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal, a distinction enjoyed by the likes of Rosa Parks, the Tuskegee Airmen and Dr. Dorothy Height, to speak nothing of the past U.S. presidents and international dignitaries who have also received the coveted prize.
“By putting his own life on the line and successfully, single-handedly leading insurrectionists away from the floor of the Senate Chamber, Officer Eugene Goodman performed his duty to protect Congress with distinction, and by his actions, Officer Goodman left an indelible mark on American history,” the legislation that was introduced by Florida Rep. Charlie Crist and Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, both Democrats, along with Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, says in part.
Vice President Mike Pence — who, along with his family, was among the elected officials hiding in the same Senate chamber Goodman lured rioters away from during the siege incited by Donald Trump — has reached out to Goodman to express how grateful he is to the police officer.
Goodman, for his part, has kept a relatively low profile since the Capitol coup waged in a purported protest of baseless and repeatedly refuted claims of election fraud. After all, his department is now being investigated for possible links to white supremacist groups as a growing number of American so-called patriots continue to be hunted down and arrested by the FBI for their roles on that fateful day.
BuzzFeed News reported that the now-fired U.S. Capitol Police chief and upper management left their officers unprepared despite having been notified of the intended coup attempt. That, in turn, left Goodman and his fellow Black Capitol police officers “especially vulnerable to a mob that had been whipped up by President Donald Trump, a man who has a record of inspiring racist vigilantes to action,” as reporter Emmanuel Felton wrote.
Multiple officers with the U.S. Capitol Police have been suspended and more than a dozen others were under investigation for possible offenses ranging from posting messages of support for the mob of domestic terrorists to “inappropriate” anti-Joe Biden activity online.
Those developments came on the backdrop of Capitol Police scrutiny that the department wasn’t properly prepared for the thousands of Trump supporters who were expected to become violent at the so-called “Stop The Steal” protest.
Video footage and photos from the Capitol siege showed several Capitol Police officers engaged in questionable activity that included one instance of taking a selfie with someone who obviously had illegally broken into and entered the U.S. Capitol.
In another instance, a Capitol Police officer could be seen with one of the people who illegally stormed the hallowed federal building and helping that person down the Capitol stairs.
All of that makes Goodman’s actions — and inactions — even more significant since, if history is any indication, he could have easily drawn and shot his service weapon at the domestic terrorists who were certainly threatening his life, a claim that become the go-to defense that white police officers routinely and successfully rely upon when they kill Black people suspected of doing far less than breaching a federal government while Congress meets to certify the next American president.