The Black Capitol Police officer who acted bravely during the violent riots on January 6, 2021, is speaking about his experience in his first interview since the incident. Eugene Goodman broke his silence during an episode of “3 Brothers No Sense” podcast, The Huffington Post reports.
“It could have easily been a bloodbath so kudos to everybody there that showed a measure of restraint with regards to deadly force,” Goodman recounts the incident. Photos and videos caught the Capitol Police officer leading a group of insurrectionists away from the entrance of the Senate chambers, where lawmakers gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. He was also shown making sure Republican senator Mitt Romney was escorted to safety while rioters ran amok in the Capitol.
“Oh hell, they’re actually in the building,” Goodman remembered at the time. “I honestly didn’t know they were that far in the building. They lock eyes on me right away, just like that, I was in it.” Goodman also attributed his quick thinking to his Army training.
“In any situation like that, you want to de-escalate but at the same time, you want to survive first, you know what I mean?” he continued.
Since that chaotic day, the heroic officer was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the institution’s highest honor, and escorted then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the inauguration. Despite many people praising his efforts that day, Goodman says he shrunk away from the public eye and turned down interviews after his fellow Capitol Police officers got backlash for talking about January 6.
“I have my ups and downs with the popularity … Unfortunately, with the popularity, you have to take the bad with the good,” Goodman said on the podcast. He also revealed that he turned down Twitter suggestions for an honorary “Eugene Goodman Day” and a proposal by officials to erect a statue of him on Capitol grounds.
You can watch clips from the interview below: