WASHINGTON — Several senators have introduced legislation to award a Capitol police officer with the Congressional Gold Medal for his "heroic" actions on January 6 at the Capitol. It is similar to legislation introduced last week by representatives; both houses of Congress must approve the legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal.
Video shared on Twitter showed Officer Eugene Goodman placing himself between the mob and the doors leading to the Senate floor during the storming of the Capitol on January 6. Goodman then lured the crowd around a corner to another corridor where additional members of law enforcement responded to help try to control the rioters.
“Officer Goodman is a hero. He protected our democracy by holding off and then diverting a violent mob away from the Senate chamber. His actions on January 6th saved lives – including those of many of our Senate colleagues and staff,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen in a written statement.
Five people died in the violent siege on the Capitol on January 6, including a Capitol Police officer, and dozens were injured. More than 100 people have been arrested or are facing charges, so far, in connection with the riot.
Two weeks after the rioters stormed the Capitol, Officer Goodman escorted Vice President Kamala Harris to the same building where she would take the oath of office. Goodman had also been given a new title, honorary deputy House Sergeant at Arms.
“Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions,” the Senate’s website reads.
Legislation seeking the Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the president. Once that is done, officials from the U.S. Mint design a medal.