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Officer who directed rioters away from senators says Jan. 6 could have been a ‘bloodbath’

A Capitol Hill police officer who lead rioters away from an entrance to the U.S. Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 insurrection last year said the riot could have “been a bloodbath” had it not been for the restraint shown by law enforcement. 

Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was seen in security footage turning Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from the crowd, made a guest appearance on an episode of a podcast called “3 Brothers No Sense” on Monday.  

In his first interview since the Jan. 6 attack, Goodman shared his perspective of the events of the day. 

“It could have been easily been a bloodbath, so kudos everybody there that showed a measure of restraint with regards to deadly force because it could have been bad. Really, really bad,” Goodman said.  

Goodman, who later escorted Vice President Harris on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, said that he had his Army training to thank for being able to “think on the fly” that day. 

He enlisted in the army in 2002 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 for a year with the 101st Airborne Division. 

“You had a few that were angry and screaming and then you had others that would say ‘I’m here for you’ and this and that. It just came down to situational awareness. You want to de-escalate but at the same time, you want to survive first,” he added. 

He added that he didn’t know the rioters had gotten that far into the building on Jan. 6, and that when he saw them, he thought, “Oh hell, they’re actually in the building.” 

He added that they [rioters] locked eyes on him right away and “just like that, I was in it.” 

Goodman, who made the cover of Time Magazine, added his overnight celebrity status is “just too much”. 

He said that he doesn’t want to embrace the fame, because he believes that he will then have to embrace the negativity that comes with it.  

About 140 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured, the departments said last year according to The New York Times.  

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