Who is Officer Eugene Goodman?

ON Jan. 6, 2021, rioters enraged by Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election marched on the US Capitol, demanding that Congress overturn the results, then invaded the building. 

The resulting attacks claimed the lives of five individuals, but the number might have been higher if Officer Eugene Goodman hadn't intervened.

Who is Officer Eugene Goodman?

Before he was known for saving the lives of many on January 6, 2021, Goodman grew up in the southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where he was born in 1980. 

He served in the US Army from 2002 to 2006, including action with the 101st Airborne Division during the Iraq War. 

Goodman oversaw a 10-man squad in the Sunni triangle area of Iraq in 2005, conducting patrols and identifying improvised explosive devices before they were detonated as a sergeant. 

Members of his team described him as "calm, cool, and collected." 

Goodman joined the Capitol Police in 2009 after leaving the military in 2006.

How did Eugene Goodman save people in the 2021 Capitol insurrection?

When Donald Trump supporters broke into the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, Goodman found himself as the lone officer standing between a big gathering of rioters and the Senate chamber, which had not yet been evacuated, while the insurgents pushed their way through the structure. 

Goodman enticed the crowd to follow him away from the chamber, preventing a considerably more heated conflict between the rioters and the officers guarding the unarmed senators and their aides.

He was commended for his heroism for baiting and directing the mob away from the chamber. 

Millions of people saw videos of Goodman's actions during the insurrection, and he became a symbol of rationality and public duty at a time when American democracy was at its lowest point. 

Goodman, who has mostly avoided public attention, said he would "do the same thing again" after the Senate unanimously awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal.

Has Eugene Goodman had any honors presented to him since his efforts during the insurrection?

Jaime Harrison and others demanded that Goodman be awarded the aforementioned Congressional Gold Medal after the Capitol attack.

Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) submitted a bipartisan resolution to award the medal to Goodman on January 13, 2021.

Rep. Cleaver, the original co-sponsor of the bill, wrote: "If not for the quick, decisive, and heroic actions from Officer Goodman, the tragedy of last week's insurrection could have multiplied in magnitude to levels never before seen in American history. 

“With this prestigious award, we can show our gratitude to Officer Goodman for saving countless lives and defending our democracy."

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Both the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army presented Goodman with the Distinguished Public Service Award.

Goodman escorted Kamala Harris to her inauguration as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

He was introduced as the acting deputy Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate, and he earned a standing ovation and shouts when he walked out onto the inaugural stage ahead of Harris.

January 6, 2021: A timeline of events

On January 6, 2021, a group of rioters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC to protest the 2020 presidential election results. Here’s a timeline of events of what occurred that day:

6:00am: A group of supporters for former President Donald Trump show up in Washington, DC to attend a rally for him. Trump had tweeted about the rally a month prior.

11:00am: Trump's rally, "Save American Rally," kicks off. Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr both speak.

11:50am: Trump begins speaking at the rally. He tells his supporters that "we will never give up. We will never concede." He tells his supporters to go to the Capitol building.

1:00pm: Lawmakers gather at the Capitol to count Electoral College votes while protesters gather outside.

1:10pm: Rioters are on the steps of the Capitol building.

1:26pm: The Capitol police evacuate the Library of Congress, Madison Building and Cannon House Office Building. These buildings are across the street from the Capitol.

1:40pm: Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser orders a curfew in the city.

2:11pm: Rioters breach the perimeter of the Capitol building and scale the walls.

2:20pm: The Senate and House are called into recess and the building goes into lockdown.

2:38pm: Trump tweets, "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!"

3:00pm: Rioters officially break into the Senate chamber. Other rioters break into the offices of members of Congress and the Senate. Property is destroyed along the way. Rioters take photos of themselves on the Senate floor.

3:13pm: Trump tweets again about the situation. "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!"

3:34pm: Rioter Ashli Babbitt is shot by a Capitol police officer as she attempts to climb through the Lobby's doors. She later died from her injuries. Meanwhile, the National Guard is ordered to the Capitol by Trump.

4:00pm: President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation and calls on Trump to "go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege."

4:17pm: Trump tweets out a video message to his supporters. "I know your pain, I know you're hurt," he said. He said the election "was stolen from us" but asked the rioters to "go home now."

6:00pm: Washington, DC goes under a 12-hour lockdown.

7:00pm: Trump is banned from Facebook and his Twitter account is suspended.

8:00pm: Former Vice President Mike Pence calls the Senate back into session.

9:00pm: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the House back into session.

11:00pm: The House and Senate resume their joint session.

January 7, 3:42am: Joe Biden is officially declared as the next president of the United States.

Aftermath: As of January 2022, more than 700 people have been charged with alleged crimes from the riot, according to CBS News.

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