Thank you, Officer Eugene Goodman.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 10, 2021
You did a good thing that day.
In the coming weeks, many people are going to tell you this.
You will be hailed a hero, you will be celebrated, and you will be applauded for the actions you took that January day.
I know that you did not face these irate people with an intention of getting praise, and I bet that you are shying away from the focus that has now been placed on you. I sincerely hope, if you stumble across this article, that my words don’t bring you any stress.
But I saw that photo—one man against many.
I watched that video—one cop, holding off the masses, yelling out commands, your only real protection or chance of survival being your officer presence.
How your heart must have been racing. They don’t train you for that. How could any scenario depict what it must have felt like to see hoards of angry faces coming at you with the ultimate goal of causing harm?
Yes, you signed up for this when you got your badge. You know that each day you go to work, there’s a chance of putting yourself in danger. You have a duty to serve and protect. But that doesn’t make you immune to fear.
Yes, you were brave, but you must have been scared; you’re human. And when your life goes back to normal, and the eye of the media is staring elsewhere, and people begin to move on to the next story, the next hero, the next newsworthy subject, you will feel like you’re standing, once again, alone with the angry mob.
This is one of those experiences that will play on the movie-screen of your eyelids every time you close them. In the days, months, and years to come—that moment in time will mark you. When the glow wears off and the talk dies down and the adrenaline is gone, you will still be there.
But know this: every police officer who watched that video felt their heart beat fast with yours, will know what it is to be trying to get to backup, and will understand how it feels to live in the aftermath of a high-risk situation.
Yes, you will still be there. But this time, you will not be alone.
You did a good thing that day, thank you for your service.
A fellow LEO.