A police officer who fended off rioters during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection found himself in a much different position this week, escorting incoming Vice President Kamala Harris to the inauguration ceremony.
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman on Wednesday met Harris and President Joe Biden upon their arrival at the East Front of the Capitol. Moments into the ceremony, he was introduced before Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff entered the inauguration stage on the West Front.
Goodman, a 101st Airborne veteran who was deployed twice in Iraq, escorted Harris as part of his new role as acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms.
Social media responded to the moment with great enthusiasm.
Goodman rose to national prominence after a Jan. 6 video shot by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic showed him leading a violent mob away from the Senate chamber.
In doing so, the officer gave lawmakers time to evacuate to a secure location, potentially saving lives.
Thus far, Goodman has not spoken publicly about the events of Jan. 6. Still, his actions have earned him widespread praise.
He’s now being considered for a Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian award Congress can bestow. Previous recipients include Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.
CLARIFICATION: This post has been updated to include details about Goodman’s military background.