In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Dozens of individuals have been arrested nationwide over participation within the riots. Politicians and enterprise leaders are loudly condemning the violence. Twitter and different social media websites have banned Trump and hundreds of different accounts.
Yet amid all of the noise, a Capitol Police officer hailed as a hero for confronting the insurrectionists and main them away from Senate chambers has remained silent.
Officer Eugene Goodman isn’t saying whether or not he thinks he saved the Senate, as most of the tens of millions who’ve considered the video imagine. In reality, Goodman isn’t saying something in any respect publicly — to not reporters, not on social media. And he’s requested the drive’s union, bosses, household and associates to assist him keep his privateness and never publicly focus on the occasions of Jan. 6.
But the video speaks volumes.
Goodman, a Black man going through an overwhelmingly white mob, is the one officer seen for a full minute of the footage, shot by reporter Igor Bobic of HuffPost. Goodman stands in entrance of the rioters, walks backward till he reaches a collapsible baton mendacity on the ground, and picks it up. “Back up … back it up!” he yells, protecting his eyes on the mob. He turns and runs upstairs, waving the baton, because the group follows.
Goodman calls “second floor” into his radio, then takes a short look and half a step to his left on the prime of the steps. Two chairs sit on both aspect of an entrance to the U.S. Senate chamber, only a few steps away. Dozens of rioters are proper in entrance of him, no different officers to be seen.
Goodman shoves one of many rioters and walks to the fitting, away from the chamber. The mob follows, and Goodman leads them to a room the place different officers wait.
The time on the video is 2:14 p.m. The Senate stopped its proceedings to start clearing the chamber at 2:15 p.m.
Five died within the riots, together with one among Goodman’s fellow officers. Legislative workplaces have been trashed, gallows have been constructed exterior, and a video confirmed a lady shot lifeless whereas journalists, Congress members and workers hid.
The pictures of Goodman unfold through social media and information websites, a foil to the bloody and messy scenes elsewhere on the Capitol. People referred to as him courageous, spectacular, efficient. They dissected the video, guessing about his technique and decision-making.
But not all of the commentary has been type. Backing up and working away is weak, some mentioned. It was a staged photograph op, others alleged.
Goodman has been silent. He didn’t reply to textual content messages and telephone calls The Associated Press left at potential numbers for him. The head of the Capitol Police union mentioned solely that Goodman didn’t wish to speak to reporters. Spokeswoman Eva Malecki mentioned the Capitol Police isn’t giving interviews or discussing Goodman’s actions.
Public information shed somewhat mild on Goodman. He served within the Army as an infantryman for greater than 4 years, leaving with the rank of sergeant in December 2006 after a yr in Iraq. He has labored for the Capitol Police since not less than mid-2009.
But that’s about it. Goodman’s associates, household, buddies he would have identified from the navy, members of Congress and drive colleagues all begged off interviews about him. They say he desires to take care of his privateness.
Online and in a lot of the general public eye, Goodman is a hero. Plenty of individuals, well-known and never, recommended he has earned the Medal of Honor. A Republican and two Democrats within the U.S. House launched a invoice Thursday to offer him the Congressional Gold Medal.
“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,” mentioned Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri.
But the representatives didn’t reply to messages asking in the event that they met with Goodman. In a tweet selling the invoice, they present not a proper photograph of Goodman in uniform, however a picture of him going through the mob — his eyes vast open, masks down under his nostril, baton behind him.
AP information researcher Randy Herschaft contributed.
Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.