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Capitol police officer hailed after appearing to lead rioters away from unsecured Senate chamber

Al Drago/Getty

A Capitol police officer is being hailed for his quick thinking for appearing to lead a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber, which police had not yet secured in the deadly breaching of the building last week by supporters of President Trump.

A video by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic from Wednesday’s siege shows the officer, who has been identified as Eugene Goodman, being confronted by an angry, shouting mob in a Capitol hallway. He repeatedly warns the group to “back up” as the rioters continue to advance and move up a staircase. Goodman at one point appears to look down the hallway to the entrance to the Senate floor, which was unsecured at the time, according to the Washington Post.

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Goodman then pushes the man who has followed him up the stairs and continues running in what appears to be an effort to encourage the group to keep chasing him, leading them away from the entrance to the Senate.

Goodman, who is Black, then leads the group of white rioters to a hallway where they are met by a group of officers.

As Goodman held them back, the Post reported, police were trying to lock down more than a dozen doors that led to the chamber and the galleries above.

Bobic tweeted that according to the video he took, the rioter looked down the hallway to the Senate at 2:14 p.m. before continuing to follow the officer. The Post reported that the chamber was secured at 2:15 p.m.

The man who led the group in chasing Goodman, Doug Jensen of Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested on Saturday and faces several charges including obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

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Goodman’s actions are being hailed on social media as heroic, with New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell tweeting he “kept murderous rioters away from the Senate chamber and saved the lives of those inside.”

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died during Wednesday’s violent siege of the Capitol that was incited by Trump, and multiple people who breached the building have been charged. The House on Monday introduced an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting an insurrection for his role in the riot.


Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.