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Senators Moved By Actions Of Capitol Police Officer Goodman To Protect Them

Updated at 1:16 p.m. ET

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, already lauded as a hero for his actions during the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, received more praise Wednesday after new video showed him directing Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, away from the mob.

The previously unseen video from a Capitol security camera was played by House managers in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

It shows Romney in a Senate hallway walking in the direction of the mob, and then Officer Goodman enters the frame and quickly gestures for him to move in the opposite direction.

Romney told reporters that he did not know he was so close to the insurrectionists, nor that it was Goodman who guided him away.

"I look forward to thanking him when I next see him," Romney said, adding, "I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction."

According to a pool reporter in the Senate chamber, Romney was later seen talking to Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Romney pointed to Goodman, who was also in the chamber, apparently recounting what Goodman had done. All were looking back at Goodman, shaking their heads in awe.

Portman then left the group and walked over to Goodman, who quickly stood, and the two fist-bumped.

Later, Romney was seen talking to Goodman at the rear of the Senate chamber.

"It was obviously very troubling to see the great violence that our Capitol police and others were subjected to," Romney told reporters after the managers' presentation, which included scenes of other officers being beaten by the mob. "It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes. That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional."

Goodman, who is Black, was seen in a previous video leading the overwhelmingly white mob, some holding Confederate flags, away from the Senate chamber.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she would introduce legislation to award police officers who defended the Capitol the Congressional Gold Medal, the institution's highest honor.

"It has been such a sad time for us, but as we see what is being presented, we also see the extraordinary valor of the Capitol police, who risked and gave their lives to save our Capitol, our democracy, our lives. They are martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives," she said.

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died as a result of injuries sustained during the attack. Two other police officers died by suicide in the days following the attack. Some 140 officers were injured.

Pelosi said she also wanted to honor Goodman for his valor.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.