US Capitol Police officer hailed as hero for diverting pro-Trump mob during riot

A U.S. Capitol Police officer is being praised as a hero for steering a violent pro-Trump mob away from lawmakers last Wednesday according to USA Today.

Several news outlets have identified the officer as Eugene Goodman.

Goodman was stationed at the U.S. Capitol last week when an angry pro-Trump crowd breached security and stormed the building, breaking down doors and windows and ransacking several lawmakers’ offices and the Senate chamber.

Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic tweeted video of Goodman holding rioters at bay before running up the stairs, steering the crowd directly into other officers, away from the Senate chamber. 

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"Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber," he posted.

"You can see how alarmed the officer was," Igor further commented. "It shows how little police presence there was once the rioters made their way into Cap."

"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," he added.

The Des Moines Register identified the lead rioter in the video as Doug Jensen, 41, of Des Moines. Local police arrested Jensen and booked him into the Polk County Jail early Saturday on five federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, according to news releases from the FBI’s field office in Omaha, Nebraska and the county sheriff’s office.

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Jensen’s employer, Forrest & Associate Masonry in Des Moines, announced Friday that he had been fired. The company’s president & CEO, Richard Felice, told KCCI-TV that the company doesn’t agree with his actions.

Despite ample warnings about pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington, USCP did not bolster staffing on Wednesday and made no preparations for the possibility that the planned protests could escalate into massive violent riots, according to several people briefed on law enforcement’s response.

"They were left naked," Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said of the police in an interview with Associated Press. She had raised security concerns in a Dec. 28 meeting of House Democrats and grilled Steven Sund, then the Capitol Police chief, during an hour-long private call on New Year’s Eve. "It turns out it was the worst kind of non-security anybody could ever imagine."

Sund, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving resigned in the wake of the riot.

Throughout the pro-Trump riot, police officers were injured, mocked, ridiculed and threatened. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died Thursday night from injuries suffered during the riot after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

"Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters," the UCPS said in a statement. "He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries."

Authorities on Sunday announced the death of a 51-year-old Capitol Police Howard Liebengood. Two people familiar with the matter said the officer’s death was an apparent suicide. Liebengood had been assigned to the Senate Division and was with the department since 2005. He is the son of a former Senate sergeant-at-arms. 

It was not clear whether his death was connected to last Wednesday’s events. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.

"The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.," Sund said in a statement before submitting his letter of resignation. "The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.