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.
At one crucial moment, he notices the leader glancing toward the Chamber, and Goodman distracts him by shoving his shoulder, then backing away in the opposite direction—and the crowd follows him.
In the dramatic video from HuffPost’s Igor Bobic, which you can watch here on Twitter, Goodman faces the crowd from just inches away, yelling for them to stay back.
Just one minute later, authorities managed to seal off the chamber, protecting all those inside, while the lone officer leads them up more stairs to a landing where he is finally supported by more police officers.
Goodman, a veteran of the U.S Army who served in Iraq, is being praised for his bravery and decisive action during the 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.
Since Wednesday, Members of Congress have been calling for Goodman to be recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his work.
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.”
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.”