Photo courtesy of Yashar Ali/Twitter.
On Wednesday, House Bill 305 was introduced into the House of Representatives, according to Congress’ website. If passed, US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman will receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions on Jan. 6 during the Capitol siege.
The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).
The 18th Airborne Corps — with which Goodman served, including a deployment to Iraq from 2005 to 2006 — tweeted, “Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman is rightfully being hailed as a hero after singlehandedly holding back rioters from entering the Senate chambers last week. An Iraq combat vet and member of this Corps, Eugene was a hero long before last Wednesday. We celebrate his valor.”
Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman is rightfully being hailed as a hero after singlehandedly holding back rioters from entering the Senate chambers last week.
An Iraq combat vet and member of this Corps, Eugene was a hero long before last Wednesday.
We celebrate his valor. pic.twitter.com/CLWlLG3bIW
— XVIII Airborne Corps (@18airbornecorps) January 14, 2021
On Jan. 6, thousands of President Donald Trump supporters left the “Stop the Steal” rally held that morning and walked to the Capitol building. A large faction of supporters then violently overran defenses set up by the USCP, breaching the Capitol building. In video footage captured by Huffington Post journalist Igor Bobic, Goodman confronts a mob of angry rioters and lures them away from the unsecured Senate chamber full of politicians and journalists.
“Officer Eugene Goodman’s selfless and quick-thinking actions doubtlessly saved lives,” reads the bill, “and bought security personnel precious time to secure and ultimately evacuate the Senate before the armed mob breached the Chamber.”
Goodman led the rioters — while radioing backup — up to the second floor where his fellow officers awaited his arrival. The video cuts off as Goodman and his fellow officers confront the group of rioters.
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
“Capitol Officer Eugene Goodman’s bravery and quick-thinking prevented insurrectionists from entering a Senate full of Members, staff, reporters and election certificates, preventing a nightmare scenario,” tweeted Crist on Thursday. “Introducing legislation to award him the Congressional Gold Medal.”
If approved, Goodman will join the ranks of other legendary people and groups such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Merrill’s Marauders 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) — the Vietnam War unit to which the 75th Ranger Regiment, the US Army’s premier raid force, traces its lineage.
The USCP had not responded to requests for further information at the time of publication.
Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.
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