'He's a hero': Bipartisan bill would award Capitol Officer Eugene Goodman with Congressional Gold Medal
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to honor the Capitol police officer captured on video leading a pro-Trump mob away from the unguarded Senate during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) introduced H.R. 305 on Thursday, which would award Officer Eugene Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions during the Capitol siege.
Goodman, a Black man, was the lone officer standing between the mostly-White rioters and the Senate. He raced up a stairway, radioing other officers his position.
RELATED: US Capitol Police officer hailed as hero for diverting pro-Trump mob during riot
Video shows Goodman peek toward the unguarded Senate, then lead the mob away from it and into an open area where backup was waiting for him.
According to the Associated Press, the video was taken at 2:14 p.m. The Senate chamber didn’t begin evacuating until a minute later.
"He’s a hero," Crist said in a statement. "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. 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."
The bill has bipartisan support after being co-sponsored by Representatives Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Emanuel Cleaver, II, D-Mo.
Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) introduced H.R. 305 on Thursday, which would award Officer Eugene Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions during the Capitol siege. (Credit: Igor Bobic/ HuffPost via Storyful)
Goodman has been with the U.S. Capitol Police Department since 2009. Mace said Goodman’s actions represent the best of law enforcement.
"When he 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," Mace said. Thanks to his valor, we are here today. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank him enough for his bravery and for his dedication to the call of duty."
Cleaver credits him for "saving countless lives and defending our democracy." But Jan. 6 was not the first time he put his life on the line for the sake of the country.
Goodman served in the Army for four years, leaving with the rank of sergeant in December 2006.
Cleaver said Goodman demonstrated he’d rise to the occasion in moments of crisis.
"If not for the quick, decisive, and heroic actions from Officer Goodman, the tragedy of last week’s insurrection could have multiplied in magnitude to levels never before seen in American history," Cleaver said.
The man leading the mob toward Goodman — identified as Doug Jensen of Des Moines, Iowa — was arrested by the FBI on Jan. 9.
This story was reported from Atlanta.