Washington, DC – A lone U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer has been credited with facing off with rioters who had gotten into the Capitol on Wednesday and leading them away from the open doors to the Senate chamber (video below).
A cell phone video filmed by a Huffington Post reporter inside the Capitol building captured the moment that USCP Officer Eugene Goodman pushed back against a group of rioters who had made their way inside, The Washington Post reported.
The encounter took place at the exact same time police were frantically trying to shut and lock all of the doors to the open Senate chamber above them.
The video showed Officer Goodman gave the man at the front of the group of rioters a shove, and then backed away and picked up a retractable baton that had been discarded on the floor.
Officer Eugene Goodman stopped a mob of white rioters from entering the chambers of the United States Senate.
At this perilous moment in our nation’s history, he was the one person standing between democracy and the rule of tyrants.
(Photo Credit: New York Times) pic.twitter.com/vTjvVp9SLe
— Christopher J. Hale (@chrisjollyhale) January 10, 2021
Then he started up the staircase with the leader of the group following just a couple of feet behind him.
Officer Goodman stopped on the landing and faced off with the rioters again briefly, ordering them to “back up, back up,” but the video showed there were dozens of men coming up the stairs after him who were not to be deterred.
He took off up the stairs again with rioters in close pursuit.
The video showed Officer Goodman keyed the microphone on his radio and warned his fellow officers that the rioters had made it to the “second floor.”
When Officer Goodman reached the next landing, he was standing just feet away from the open doors to the Senate chamber.
The chamber can be seen behind him – the doors are located between the two chairs that are up against the wall on the left side of the screen, according to The Washington Post.
The video showed that Officer Goodman distracted the rioters away from the Senate chamber, even giving their leader a shove to get his attention and make him follow him in the other direction.
Rioters barely gave the hallway leading to the Senate a second glance as they pursued Officer Goodman, who led them away from the main entrance to the chamber.
If the rioters had turned right and attempted to enter the Senate chamber, they would have been met by a half a dozen armed Capitol Police officers who were watching the doors for intruders, The Washington Post reported.
Looking again at the video I took of the mob storming the Senate, there’s a moment when the lead rioter looks right for a second, before continuing to follow the officer left, away from the immediate entrance to the Senate. This happened at 2:14. pic.twitter.com/8oetsPvhIb
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 10, 2021
But instead, the video showed the rioters followed Officer Goodman away from the Senate chamber and into a back corridor where they were met by another group of police officers and eventually stopped.
The Washington Post reported that Officer Goodman stopped the rioters from entering the Senate at 2:14 p.m., one minute before the chamber was actually sealed shut by police.
Officer Goodman is a U.S. Army veteran who served a deployment in Iraq, according to Heavy.
Online records showed he has been a member of the USCP since at least 2011.
More than 18 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and eventually the National Guard, responded to the Capitol riot and assisted in bringing the violence under control on Jan. 6.
Five people died as a result of the melee, including a protester who was shot by police after she breached the Capitol and USCP Officer Brian Sicknick who was beaten by the mob.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021