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Lawmakers introduce bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to hero officer

The officer, Eugene Goodman, drew praise for his quick action during last week’s deadly riots at the Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman arrive at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Goodman was at the Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of bipartisan House members introduced legislation on Thursday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to a Capitol police officer who deterred a mob away from the Senate chamber during last week’s deadly riots, NBC News reports.

Reps. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., credited officer Eugene Goodman for “his bravery and quick thinking during last week’s insurrection.”

Goodman drew praise from many as a video of him purposefully baiting a mob to chase him, in the opposite direction of the Senate chamber doors, beyond which lawmakers were still hiding, went viral on social media. Five people were killed in the riots, including another police officer.

“He’s a hero!” Crist said. “The United States Capitol was under attack by armed, violent extremists, and Officer Eugene Goodman was the only thing standing between the mob and the United States Senate. I shudder to think what might have happened had it not been for Officer Goodman’s fast thinking and commitment to his duty and his country.”

Goodman, an Army veteran, served in Iraq before joining the police force.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award Congress can bestow. Past recipients include Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.