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Senate awards medal to Capitol Police’s Eugene Goodman for actions during riot

Lawmakers unanimously grant officer Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest honor, for confronting mob during storming of US Capitol last month

Capitol Hill Police Officer Eugene Goodman after the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb 12, 2021. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)
Capitol Hill Police Officer Eugene Goodman after the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb 12, 2021. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The US Senate voted on Friday to give the Congressional Gold Medal to Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer who led a violent mob away from the Senate doors on January 6 as it hunted for lawmakers during the presidential electoral count.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote at the end of the day’s impeachment proceedings, noting Goodman’s “foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob’s rage so that others might reach safety.”

The Senate voted to award Goodman the medal — the highest honor Congress can bestow — by unanimous consent, meaning there were no objections.

Goodman was in the Senate chamber as Schumer spoke, and the entire Senate stood and turned toward him, giving him a standing ovation. He put his hand on his heart.

Goodman has been in the chamber for much of the impeachment trial, in which House Democrats are charging that former president Donald Trump incited the January 6 insurrection.

Video that emerged after the riot showed Goodman confronting a group intruders alone and luring the mob away from lawmakers who were hiding nearby, including then vice president Mike Pence. The rioters, who were enraged at Pence, came within 100 feet of him and his family during the mayhem.

Goodman, a military veteran, was widely hailed as a hero for his actions during the insurrection, although he was reluctant to step into the spotlight.

New evidence introduced in the trial this week showed additional video of Goodman leading Republican Senator Mitt Romney to safety as he unknowingly headed toward a location where the mob had gathered.

The trial wrapped up for the day Friday night and will resume Saturday.

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