U.S. Senate Honors Police Officers with Congressional Gold Medal for Defending U.S. Capitol from January 6 Attackers
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the full U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal -- the legislative branch’s highest honor and a national expression of appreciation for distinguished achievement -- to the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies involved in protecting the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, supported the measure, which authorizes the striking of four gold medals, to be distributed to the Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, as well as to the Architect of the Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution, with each agency directed to put their medals on public display.
“I am so grateful to all the brave police officers and law enforcement officials who risked their lives to defend our democracy and protect the U.S. Capitol from the violent mob. There were so many individual and collective acts of courage by our police officers that day and they deserve to be recognized. This award is a testament to their service and sacrifice, and a national thank you to them and their families,” said Senator Reed, who was in the U.S. Senate chamber when thousands of Trump supporters illegally breached the U.S. Capitol. “That mob came to fight and disrupt the peaceful, democratic transfer of power. These officers stood for what was right, and ultimately they, and our democracy, prevailed.”
On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol was violently stormed and overtaken by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump who were seeking to disrupt the lawful counting and certifying of electoral votes that ultimately confirmed Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. During the violence, one-hundred and forty police officers were injured and one, Brian D. Sicknick, was killed, while several other DC police officers who responded to the U.S. Capitol insurrection have died by suicide in the aftermath of the attack.
Today’s vote in the U.S. Senate was unanimous. On June 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed identical legislation by a vote of 406-21, with 21 Republicans voting against honoring the police for defending the U.S. Capitol.
The legislation passed today honors all “the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.” Previously, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal individually to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led a violent mob away from the Senate doors during the insurrection as the mob hunted for lawmakers who were certifying the Electoral College results.
The bill now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.