Eugene Goodman, the black Capitol police officer, who was hailed a hero for singlehandedly tackling a group of “mostly white” pro-Trump rioters outside the senate hall during the siege of the US Capitol, escorted Vice President Kamala Harris at the inauguration on Wednesday.
Goodman has been elevated as the acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms, the Number 2 security official at the Senate.
A composed-looking Goodman, dressed in a beige overcoat and lavender scarf was greeted with cheers when his name was announced as he walked out of the entranceway of the Capitol to the platform where the swearing in was held.
Goodman’s act of valour became the talk of the town when a video of him showing luring a group of rioters away from the unguarded Senate chambers, where legislators and staff had taken refuge during the attack on January 6, went viral.
“Goodman, armed with a baton, pushes the leader of the pack, a man wearing a black QAnon shirt later identified as Doug Jensen from Des Moines. Jensen was focused on Goodman and appeared not to notice the open hallway leading to the Senate chambers. Jensen chased Goodman, who led him and the mob away from the Senate floor. The group, all white men, followed the Black officer into a group of police in a back corridor outside the Senate,” USA Today described the confrontation.
It is said that Goodman’s presence of mind gave security personnel time to evacuate the legislators to a safe location.
“Goodman’s quick thinking probably prevented a violent confrontation and may have saved lives,” experts told The Washington Post.
Goodman is reportedly being considered for a Congressional Gold medal for his bravery.
An Army veteran who has served in the Iraq war, 40-year-old Goodman is described by friends as a “reserved and private person who was wary of the flood of attention that has come his way over the past two weeks,” as reported by TWP.
A friend of Goodman told TWP that he has experience of hostile firefights and can remain calm during emergencies, something which was at display and saved the day at Capitol Hill.
In the days following the attack, XVIII Airborne Corps, Goodman’s former unit commended his bravery saying he “was a hero long before last Wednesday”.