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Capitol Police officer Goodman says mob on January 6 looked like ‘something out of medieval times’ at trial of man who carried Confederate flag

<i>Mike Theiler/Reuters</i><br/>Kevin Seefried carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol on January 6
Mike Theiler/Reuters
Kevin Seefried carries a Confederate battle flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol on January 6

By Ellie Kaufman

Officer Eugene Goodman, the US Capitol Police officer who led the mob of protesters away from the Senate chamber on January 6, 2021, as senators and then-Vice President Mike Pence were evacuating, testified on Monday that the mob breaching the Capitol and breaking into the lower levels of the building “looked like something out of medieval times.”

Goodman described in court the scene at the western front of the Capitol, where rioters first breached the Capitol and “where you see one huge force clashing with the other.” Goodman said police officers were trying to keep rioters at bay, while the massive mob stormed the building from the National Mall.

Goodman is testifying in the trial of Kevin Seefried and his son, Hunter Seefried, who are charged in connection with Capitol attack. Both men are charged with five counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

Images of Kevin Seefried carrying the Confederate flag, which is seen as a symbol of hate and racism to many, through the halls of the Capitol became a searing image from that day. The Confederate flag has never been displayed inside the US Capitol building.

Kevin Seefried told the FBI he had brought the Confederate flag with him to Washington from his home in Delaware, where he normally displays it outside, according to court papers..

Prosecutors say the Seefrieds were part of the mob that Goodman led away from the Senate chamber after the group entered the building on the first floor, breaking windows to force their way in.

Hunter Seefried’s defense attorney argued in opening statements that Seefried was not guilty of some of the charges because he wasn’t aware that the certification of the election results was occurring at the Capitol on that day.

Goodman describes his experience leading rioters away from Senate chamber

Goodman testified that he interacted with Kevin Seefried directly on the first floor. Seefried used the base of the flagpole to jab towards Goodman and try to push him back.

“I approach him. I tell him ‘you need to leave,'” Goodman said in court. Seefried then “uses the base of his pole to create space,” between Goodman and Seefried, the officer said.

During this initial encounter on the first floor, Seefried “was saying things like F*** you, I’m not leaving, where are the members at, where are they counting the votes,” Goodman said.

After Seefried jabbed at Goodman “three to four times” with the base of his flagpole, Goodman said he stood his ground and Seefried eventually fell back to rejoin the mob group.

The mob then advanced on Goodman, he said. Goodman led them up the stairs from the first to the second floor on the Senate side of the Capitol. Goodman said he was worried about the mob heading towards the Republican entrance to the Senate chamber, near the elevator bank on the second floor, and through the corridor that includes Pence’s staff and ceremonial offices.

Before confronting the mob on the first floor, Goodman passed Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, and he saw police officers in front of the Senate chamber entrance and the vice president’s staff office, he said.

Goodman was out of pepper spray at this point in the day because he had used it all during the earlier fight as rioters breached the western front of the Capitol, where he assisted police officers in trying to hold the line before returning inside the building to regroup.

Once inside, he heard the Senate side of the Capitol had been breached over the radio. He was carrying a firearm and a police baton at the time, he said.

Goodman led the mob away from the Senate chamber into a hallway colloquially known as the Ohio Clock corridor on the second floor. There, other police officers met him and backed him up to control the mob, he said. Goodman and the other police officers were telling the rioters to leave, but they disobeyed police orders and remained in the building.

The rioters were saying things like, “This is our America, you guys need to be on our side, where are they counting the votes at,” Goodman said in court.

“I just remember the entire time telling them they need to leave,” Goodman said.

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CNN’s Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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