Capitol Police Officer Who Led Mob Away from Senate Chambers Is an Army Iraq War Vet
Before facing dozen of protesters who broke into the U.S. Capitol last week, Eugene Goodman was serving as an infantryman in Iraq.
Goodman, an officer with the U.S. Capitol Police, reportedly led a crowd of protesters from the Senate Chambers during the siege of the federal building last week. Igor Bobic, a HuffPost political reporter, captured the now viral moment when Goodman suddenly faced a large group of President Donald Trump supporters who had encircled and broken into the Capitol.
Bobic's nearly 90-second video shows Goodman trying to hold back the crowd by picking up a baton to hold them back before running up a flight of stairs. When he reaches the landing where the stairs split in two directions, Goodman leads the mob in the opposite direction to the Senate Chambers.
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"He's trying to lure them," Kirk Burkhalter, professor at New York Law School and former New York police officer, told the Washington Post, which first covered Goodman's Army relations.
The officer can then hear other law enforcement officers on the radio that the rioters have reached the second floor.
"I just realized how tight it was in the Senate. Literally seconds," remarked Bobic three days after Goodman's video was released.
Goodman left the army in 2006 after serving four years as an infantryman, said Lt. Col. Gabriel Ramirez, an army spokesman. From 2005 to 2006 he was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, the 502nd Infantry Regiment, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Air Assault.
His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
Capitol Police did not answer questions about Goodman's time in uniform or actions on Jan. 6, including whether he would be considered for awards for single-handed members of the mob outside of Senators.
Keith Taylor, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and another former New York police officer, checked out the video and told the Post that Goodman was showing significant situational awareness.
"While he was speaking and waving to the rioters, he was communicating with colleagues on a radio attached to his uniform," said Taylor, giving them information about where he was and where he was going, "the newspaper reported.
Several friends also told the Post that Goodman was focused on "defusing the threat to lawmakers, not his own safety".
"My job is to protect and serve," the Post told employees after Bobic's video went viral. "And that day I protected."
- Gina Harkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.
Related: Pentagon Authorizes National Guard forces around the Capitol to carry lethal weapons
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