Steve January 14, 2021

A group of bipartisan House members introduced legislation on Thursday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to a Capitol police officer who deterred a mob away from the Senate chamber during last week’s deadly riots.

Reps. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., credited officer Eugene Goodman for “his bravery and quick thinking during last week’s insurrection.”

Goodman drew praise from many as a video of him purposefully baiting a mob to chase him, in the opposite direction of the Senate chamber doors, beyond which lawmakers were still hiding, went viral on social media. Five people were killed in the riots, including another police officer.

“He’s a hero!” Crist said. “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.”

Goodman, an Army veteran, served in Iraq before joining the police force.

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.

— XVIII Airborne Corps (@18airbornecorps) January 14, 2021

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award Congress can bestow. Past recipients include Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.

Randi RichardsonRandi Richardson

Randi Richardson is a news associate at NBC News.

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