body cam footage attack on police lead vpx
Bodycam footage shows rioters attacking police during insurrection
01:29 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation on Thursday to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to US Capitol Police officers and law enforcement personnel who protected the Capitol during the violent insurrection on January 6, the highest honor that Congress can bestow.

“The outstanding heroism and patriotism of our heroes deserve and demand our deepest appreciation,” Pelosi said in a news release introducing the legislation.

The legislation comes at the same time members of the House are in the Senate, arguing in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The former President was impeached by the House last month on one charge of inciting an insurrection for his comments and actions leading up to the insurrection.

In bringing forth the legislation, Pelosi reflected on the officers whose lives were lost and the countless others who were injured in the riot. The speaker also singled out the heroism displayed by Officer Eugene Goodman, who not only directed the violent mob away from the Senate, but also specifically redirected Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney to safety, according to new video presented during the impeachment trial.

“The sacrifice of heroes including Officer Brian Sicknick, Officer Howard Liebengood, (MPD) Officer Jeffrey Smith, and those who sustained injuries, and the courage of Officer Eugene Goodman, exemplify the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country,” the legislation reads.

The legislation also acknowledges that multiple Americans have died following the violent attack, and more than 140 law enforcement officers suffered physical injuries, including 15 officers who were hospitalized. Five people died as a direct result of the insurrection – Sicknick, who died on January 7 from injuries sustained during the attack; Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a police officer in the Capitol while attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby just off the House floor; and three others who died from medical emergencies during the riot. Two other members of law enforcement present on the day died by suicide in the days following the attack.

Acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman praised Pelosi’s announcement of the legislation in a news release.

“To have our police officers’ bravery acknowledged at a time when they’re experiencing tremendous emotions and exhaustion is a gift,” Pittman said. “We have too many heroes to count and we are humbled Congress may recognize them in this way. From the cards and letters of support we’ve received from around this great country to this incredible award, we are deeply humbled and appreciative.”

Once the medals are awarded, the legislation calls for the three medals to be split up with one being displayed at United States Capitol Police headquarters, one at the DC Metropolitan Police Department and one at the Smithsonian.

Pelosi first spoke about the legislation during her weekly news conference earlier on Thursday.

“The service of the Capitol Police force that day brings honor to our democracy,” Pelosi told reporters. “Their accepting this award brings luster to this medal.”