Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer who was captured on video facing down members of the mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 and diverting them from entering the Senate chamber and potentially saving lives, was elevated to serve as the No. 2 security official in the Senate for the inaugural events on Wednesday.
As the acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms, Officer Goodman, a Black man who fended off a mostly white throng, was part of the official escort accompanying Vice President Kamala Harris to the platform outside the Capitol where she was sworn into the nation’s second-highest office.
The mention of his name was greeted with loud applause as he appeared at the arched entranceway where rioters breached the building exactly two weeks earlier.
Officer Goodman, who was filmed and photographed luring the mob away from the unguarded doors to the Senate chamber a minute before they were locked, has been hailed as a hero on Capitol Hill for preventing the invaders from breaching the chamber while senators were still inside. Officer Goodman’s actions gave the lawmakers time to evacuate to a secure location before the rioters could enter.
A bipartisan trio of lawmakers has introduced legislation that would award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for his bravery during the rampage.
In the wake of the Jan. 6 siege, a massive security failure, the top security officials on Capitol Hill — including the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms — resigned, with permanent successors yet to be named.