‘Martyrs for our democracy’: Pelosi plans Congressional Gold Medal for Capitol Police
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will introduce legislation to award Congress’ highest honor to Capitol Police and other law enforcement that protected the Capitol from rioters last month.
“It has been such a sad time for us, but as we see what is being presented, we also see the extraordinary valor of the Capitol police, who risked and gave their lives to save our Capitol, our democracy, our lives. They are martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives,” Pelosi said at a news conference where she announced plans to award the Congressional Gold Medal. “We must always remember their sacrifice … We will never forget.”
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was among those who died after suffering injuries during the deadly insurrection. Sicknick laid in honor at the U.S. Capitol last week. Two police officers have also died by suicide since responding to the Capitol insurrection.
The announcement comes amid the Senate’s impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, who has been charged with inciting the insurrection.
Impeachment managers unveiled new footage Wednesday showing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman directing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to safety while Goodman was rushing to respond to rioters breaching the Capitol. Rioters were “just feet” from the Senate chamber, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands) said Wednesday.
Goodman had previously earned praise for diverting rioters away from the Senate chamber, prompting some lawmakers to call for him to receive a Congressional Gold Medal. Pelosi said she wanted to recognize Goodman for his “valor.”
“We want to honor them in the best way that we possibly can, and we will continue to do so beyond a medal, but in our hearts,” Pelosi said.