Lawmakers Want To Award Officer Eugene Goodman Congressional Gold Medal For Heroism During Capitol Riots


Thursday, January 14th 2021, 3:29 pm
By: CBS News


Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman was hailed as a hero after he put himself in harm's way during the violent riots last week. While a pro-Trump mob breached security and stormed the Capitol, Goodman diverted a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber. 

Now, several members of Congress want to recognize Goodman for his bravery. A bipartisan bill to award Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal has been introduced by U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL), Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) and Nancy Mace (R-SC). 

In a press release, Crist called Goodman a hero.

"The United States 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," Crist said. "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," he continued.

Mace said that when Goodman "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."

"Thanks to his valor, we are here today," she continued. "From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank him enough for his bravery and for his dedication to the call of duty."

Several members of Congress have opened up about their experiences during the rioting, with some saying they feared for their lives. 

Video taken by HuffPost politics reporter Igor Bobic shows Goodman standing in a few steps ahead of the mob, trying to hold them back, and then heading up a staircase as the men chase after him. 

The harrowing video went viral and Goodman was quickly identified.

Goodman is an Army veteran who spent time in Iraq, CBS Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA reported. While the Capitol Police leadership has been criticized for the security failures, and its chief has resigned, many immediately praised Goodman for his brave and quick-thinking reaction at a crucial moment in the crisis.

Now, there is an effort to praise him publicly and award him with a medal. Congress has awarded gold medals to express appreciation for "distinguished achievements and contributions" since the Revolution, according to the House of Representatives.

The first recipients included citizens who participated in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. A wide array of people are now chosen by Congress to receive the medal. Famous recipients include George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks and Thomas Edison. 

First published on January 14, 2021 / 1:07 PM