+
upworthy
Heroes

Heroic Officer Eugene Goodman used himself as bait to lure rioters away from the Senate

Heroic Officer Eugene Goodman used himself as bait to lure rioters away from the Senate
Kristen Wilson/Twitter, Ian Bremmer/Twitter (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson)

As more footage from last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol comes out, we're getting a fuller picture of what took place that day. And frankly, it's terrifying.

We've now seen the gallows erected outside of the Capitol and the rioters shouting "Hang Mike Pence!" We've seen reports of insurrectionists carrying zip tie restraints and now know how close we were to possibly witnessing lawmakers being taken hostage—or worse—live on TV. We've seen journalists attacked, a policeman dragged down steps and beaten with an American flag, and feces and urine left in the hallways and offices of the U.S. Capitol.

One piece of footage that has emerged shows how one Capitol Police officer's bravery may have saved members of the U.S. Senate. Officer Eugene Goodman found himself alone and confronted with a mob forcing him backwards up a stairway within the Capitol. Video from HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic shows Goodman attempting to hold back the rioters, but he is clearly outnumbered. They keep pushing him farther and farther up the stairs, toward the floor where the Senate chambers are.


What isn't immediately obvious in the video footage is a specific moment when the mob reached the floor where the Senate chambers were. Goodman appears to glance down the hall toward the chambers, where no security can be seen, and then shove the frontman of the mob before leading them in the opposite direction of that hallway.

In other words, it looks like he used himself as bait to keep the mob away from the Senate chambers. Insurrectionists did end up breaching those chambers, but thankfully, it wasn't until after lawmakers had been moved to a secure location within the building.


It's hard to imagine the terror this man must have felt in these moments. Completely outnumbered, charged with the duty of protecting the U.S. Capitol as it's being overrun, knowing that the nation's lawmakers—including the next three people in line for the presidency—were in the building and relying on the police for protection.

But the terror for Officer Goodman goes beyond that. This isn't just a police officer being outnumbered; it's also a Black man facing down an angry white mob. We've seen photos of pro-Nazi apparel worn by some of these people. We've seen a huge Confederate flag being marched through this building that day. Many of the people who have since been arrested are prominent members of white nationalist groups.

To be who he was, in the place that he was, facing the mob that he was—and to still have the presence of mind to do what he did—is a demonstration of heroism that can't be overstated.

As we express our gratitude and praise for his heroism, we must also acknowledge the trauma of this experience. Not just the trauma any of us would have endured, but the added racial trauma of knowing that this mostly white mob could—and just might—lynch him.

The racism in the group isn't just an assumption. Nor is the violent threat they posed.

BuzzfeedNews interviewed two Black Capitol officers, both of whom remained anonymous, about their experiences in the Capitol that day. They said they were repeatedly called the n-word as the rioters stormed the building. Some even abused them while telling them they were doing it for them.

"We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and they're telling us they are on our side, and they're doing this for us, and they're saying this as I'm getting punched in my face by one of them … That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper-sprayed in the face by those protesters — I'm not going to even call them protesters — by those domestic terrorists," one officer told the outlet.

And they were left to fend off white supremacists without sufficient support. One officer, who has been with the Capitol Police for more than a decade, said the threat was downplayed before the event, and then the chief of police was MIA during the riot. He also explained how the absurd costuming and antics of some of the rioters served as a distraction from how serious the threat really was.

"That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us," said the officer. "They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs ... They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs, in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military."

The threat isn't over. There are multiple reports of plans for more armed protests in the nation's capital as well as state capitals in the days leading up to Biden's inauguration. Social media companies have cracked down on incitement, including banning the president, in an attempt to keep extremist groups from organizing via their platforms. Other private companies have also taken action to limit further violence by denying service to Parler, a "free speech" social media platform that has been a favorite of many pro-Trump organizers, as the seriousness of what happened last week truly sinks in.

In everything that's happened this week, Officer Goodman's brave actions stand out as a beacon of hope. President Biden will have an incredibly busy schedule once he takes office, but as soon as possible, he should award this man the Presidential Medal of Freedom. If anyone has ever deserved that honor, Eugene Goodman certainly does.

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

Keep ReadingShow less
OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.
Keep ReadingShow less