Man who carried a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol was the 'complete opposite of pleasant,' cop testifies

·4 min read
Kevin and Hunter Seefried
Kevin Seefried (left) carried a Confederate flag inside the Capitol on January 6.Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo
  • Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman said January 6 "looked like something out of medieval times."

  • Goodman recalled his run-in with a rioter who carried a Confederate flag inside the Capitol.

  • The celebrated officer said Kevin Seefried was the "complete opposite of pleasant."

On January 6, 2021, Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman emerged as a reluctant hero when he faced down a pro-Trump mob and diverted angry rioters from the Senate as they searched for lawmakers.

More than a year later, on Monday, Goodman met two accused members of that mob in court as the latest January 6 trial kicked off against Hunter Seefried and his father, Kevin Seefried, a Delaware man who carried a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol.

In testimony accompanied by security camera footage, Goodman recalled his encounter with a pro-Trump mob that included not only Kevin and Hunter Seefried but also Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman, who paraded through the marble halls of the Capitol wearing furs and a horned headdress.

Goodman said the mob refused directions to stand down and instead made demands in return, asking for the location of lawmakers and the proceeding where Congress was set to certify then-President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory over Donald Trump. Recalling the charged scene, Goodman said Kevin Seefried used the base of his flagpole "in a jabbing motion to create space" between the two of them.

In the security footage, Goodman identified Kevin Seefried by his tan vest and Confederate flag he carried through the Capitol. "He was very angry. Screaming. Talking loudly," Goodman said. "Complete opposite of pleasant."

Goodman said that, in his memory of January 6, he gave Seefried a nickname: Confederate flag. But what most concerned him about Seefried's appearance, Goodman said, was the teardrop tattoo on his face.

"To my knowledge, in street culture, the teardrop tattoo is synonymous with saying you've killed somebody," Goodman said.

Of his son Hunter, Goodman said he wasn't aggressive but had a "smirkish look on his face, like a 'we won' kinda look on his face."

Goodman was widely celebrated for his courage and quick thinking to lure rioters away from lawmakers on January 6. In the days after the Capitol attack, lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation to award him one of the highest civilian awards for his efforts to protect Congress.

But there was more footage still. During Trump's second impeachment, Democratic lawmakers presented footage that showed Goodman sprinting toward Sen. Mitt Romney to warn the Utah Republican of the angry mob approaching.

"I don't think my family or my wife understood that I was as close as I might have been to real danger," Romney told reporters in February 2021. "They were surprised and very, very appreciative of Officer Goodman, in his being there and directing me back to safety."

Kevin Seefried shown carrying the Confederate flag into the Capitol's rotunda on January 6, 2021.
Kevin Seefried shown carrying the Confederate flag into the Capitol's rotunda on January 6, 2021.Saul Loeb/Getty Images

In court on Monday, prosecutors showed other video footage in which Kevin and Hunter Seefried climbed through a window near the Senate wing door, joining pro-Trump rioters who were among the first to breach the Capitol on January 6. The father and son are facing charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct, and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds.

Their trial is the eighth connected to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Both waived their right to a jury trial to instead have a so-called bench trial, in which a judge renders the verdict.

Judge Trevor McFadden, the Trump appointee assigned to their case, previously acquitted a New Mexico man on charges he illegally entered the Capitol. The acquittal marked a rare blemish in the Justice Department's prosecutions stemming from January 6.

At an earlier bench trial, McFadden found a New Mexico county commissioner guilty of trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds but acquitted him of a separate misdemeanor charge. In other trials with juries, federal prosecutors have won convictions on all charges.

The Seefrieds' trial began as the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol held its second public hearing. At the first hearing, on Thursday, the House panel played never-before-seen recordings of closed-door interviews and footage of the violence of January 6.

For Goodman, the trial testimony brought back memories of looking out over the pro-Trump mob and being struck by the dueling forces — "one side was police officers, the other side was protestors."

"It looked like something out of medieval times," he said.

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