Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
It seems clear now that a Capitol police officer–who led insurrections away from the Senate Chamber in the early moments of the riot on Wednesday–prevented an even more dicey confrontation between rioters and authorities. As seen on previously reported video, a man now identified as United States Capitol Officer Eugene Goodman faced off with the group. He was by himself and only wielded a baton, so he had to give ground to the advancing group, which was led by a man in QAnon apparel. After turning up some stairs, he led them off toward their left, not right, away from an open doorway.
The precise sequence of events that day become clearer as days pass. If the crowd entered the Senate, then there was the potential for ugly, perhaps fatal results. From The Washington Post:
Had the rioters turned right, they would have been a few feet away from the main entrance into the chamber. On the other side of that door, had they made their way into the Senate, were at least a half-dozen armed officers, including one with a semiautomatic weapon in the middle of the floor scanning each entrance for intruders.
For comparison’s sake, footage showed insurrections elsewhere working to break through the barricaded door of the Speaker’s Lobby, which would have led them to the chamber of the House of Representatives. One them, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, climbed through a smashed window, and was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer on the other side.
The Senate only closed a minute before Bobic tweeted the video, according to The Post.
[Warning: Video is disturbing.]
The reporter who took that footage, HuffPost‘s Igor Bobic, realized in retrospect that the situation could have been a lot uglier. He said it was a “close call.”
Looking again at the video I took of the mob storming the Senate, 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. This happened at 2:14. pic.twitter.com/8oetsPvhIb
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 10, 2021
The Senate closed its doors at 2:15.
— Rebekah Sanders 🌵 (@RebekahLSanders) January 10, 2021
Now some commentators see that Goodman led the crowd away from the Senate, using himself as “bait.”
His name is USCP Officer Eugene Goodman. Remember his name. He almost certainly saved lives on Wednesday.
My thanks, Officer Goodman. THANK YOU. https://t.co/DwvUqCkW8M
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) January 10, 2021
I did not fully grasp what was happening in this footage when I first saw it. Now it seems clear that this officer tricked the mob away from the unguarded door to the Senate, using himself—a Black man—as the bait. He is a national hero. And lucky to be alive. https://t.co/l8RAyXrlk7
— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) January 10, 2021
This guy is an absolute hero. https://t.co/7hvP08Yk1T
— Ryan Clinton (@ryanclinton) January 10, 2021
As obvious in oft-shared pictures, a number of insurrectionists did make their way into the Senate Chamber. The QAnon man in the video appears to be Doug Jensen, 41, according to The Associated Press. He was arrested Friday night on federal charges, including trespassing.
[Screenshot via Igor Bobic]
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