House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she plans on introducing legislation to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies involved in protecting the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
One-hundred and forty officers were injured and one was killed amid the violence at the Capitol during the counting of the Electoral College. The Capitol was overtaken by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump in hopes of disrupting the process that ultimately confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
The announcement comes one day after House Democrats presented video evidence during the impeachment trial of Trump showing security footage from within the Capitol on Jan. 6. Among the more dramatic footage, Officer Eugene Goodman could be seen leading Sen. Mitt Romney away from the mob. The impeachment managers also showed videos of members of law enforcement being beaten during the riot.
“The outstanding heroism and patriotism of our heroes deserve and demand our deepest appreciation, which is why I am honored to introduce legislation to pay tribute to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6 with the Congressional Gold Medal: the highest honor that the Congress can bestow,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to House colleagues. “The service of the Capitol Police force that day brings honor to our Democracy, and their accepting this Gold Medal will bring luster to this award.”
Capitol Police said in a statement that it wanted to also acknowledges other law enforcement agencies that assisted the Capitol Police on Jan. 6.
“To have our police officers’ bravery acknowledged at a time when they’re experiencing tremendous emotions and exhaustion is a gift,” acting Chief Yogananda 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.”
While many officers have been praised for their heroism, law enforcement leaders were roundly criticized for their lack of preparation for the Jan. 6 riot. The previous chief of the Capitol Police, the House sergeant-at-arms and the Senate sergeant-at-arms all resigned in the wake of the riot.