Capitol Security Guard Saves the Senate

Officer Eugene Goodman diverts a mob so members of the Senate can escape

Chandler Hoel, Staff Writer

On January 6th, extremest Trump supporters broke through the Capitol doors and windows in a rage against democracy. The world watched as protesters forced their way into our nation’s Capitol building, causing our government workers to use the terrorist escape tunnels for the first time since they were installed. We all watched while the police took selfies with the protesters instead of arresting them. And we all noticed a severe and troubling difference that none of us could avoid: these aggressive rioters were treated very differently than the peaceful protesters for Black Lives Matter over the summer. One side supports hatred and social division, while another is for peace and social justice.

In a country so severely divided, we should acknowledge one officer who truly showed what it means to protect and serve on the events of the 6th. Eugene Goodman, one of the security officers at the Capitol, created a distraction that saved the entire Senate from the attackers. Goodman was alone, and he was a black officer being charged by predominantly white rioters, some of whom were bearing a confederate flag. He was able to divert the mob away from the senate, giving them time to escape. 

In a video released by the Washington Post, you can see Goodman starting an argument with one of the rioters, keeping his mind clear that no matter what this man said to him, he would keep them from going any farther. He then starts up the stairs away from the Senate chambers, and since he’d gotten the mob all worked up, they follow. Successfully diverting the group, Goodman then led them to a room where they were met with more officers. 

Officer Goodman was the main reason why this riot didn’t end with more death and destruction than had already happened, and surely it wasn’t easy for him considering some of his backup was joining the enemy. He was alone in this fight, and it could’ve ended very differently had he gotten his emotions or anything else in the way of his duty. This is how all of the cops and security guards should’ve reacted. 

On Friday, January 15, three members of Congress introduced the idea of awarding Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal. Some reporters and bloggers are saying Goodman deserves the Medal of Honor, which is for bravery in extreme action. Although no one was hurt, this was a high-stress situation, and could’ve ended very badly. This is a high-ranking military award, and one that Goodman definitely deserves. He faced a mob of his opposite by himself with courage. He used quick thinking, and was able to protect himself and move them away from the Senate, where there could’ve been a bloody confrontation.