A Black police officer is being celebrated for his efforts during the attack on the Capitol building, and for potentially saving lives.
In a video taken by HuffPost congressional reporter Igor Bobic, the lone officer can be seen being hounded by the mob of dozens of Trump supporters.
Upon reflection though, many realised that he was actually diverting the group away from a corridor leading to the Senate chamber. In the video, the officer, who was later identified as Eugene Goodman, initially attempts to block the unobstructed corridor as the mob climbs up the stairs, then moves to the other direction, pushing one rioter in order to provoke the group into following him away from the chamber.
Goodman made the right decision under pressure, but it turned out to be an even closer call than expected. The video was taken at 2:14pm, while a Washington Post report later confirmed that the Senate doors were only sealed just a minute later.
Whether the tactic was intentional or not, the officer is responsible for potentially preventing even more violence in the Capitol.
After diverting the mob away from the Senate, Goodman was able to lead them to a corridor of police officers outside.
Since Goodman was identified, the Capitol police officer is being hailed as a hero for defending the Capitol.
Congressman Dean Phillips was among the many who expressed their thanks to Officer Goodman: “With gratitude and reverence I salute the particular heroism of black U.S. Capitol Police officers like Officer Eugene Goodman who stared grotesque hatred directly in the eye on Wednesday and demonstrated to the world that their Black Lives Matter,” he tweeted.
Five people died due to the Capitol riots, including police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who passed away from “injuries sustained while on-duty”, according to a statement by Capitol Police.