Capitol officer who saved lives of senators offered free stay at French B&B

Renée Jacobs says Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman is a 'hero' and lauded his 'bravery'

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It’s been a week since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the volatile images are still steered in the public consciousness. In particular, the heroic efforts of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman leading the mob away from U.S. senators have brought adulation and a very generous offer.

Renée Jacobs, one of the most distinguished photographers who captures women in the nude, is an American who lives in France. She moved to the country four years ago from Los Angeles. Jacobs has a keen eye for the perfect shot and the imagery of the chaos at the Capitol left an impression.

Renée Jacobs Capitol Hill Police Officer Eugene Goodman
Renée Jacobs and Capitol Hill Police Officer Eugene Goodman (Credit: Jacobs and New York Times)

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She was drawn to the picture of Officer Goodman holding back the angry rioters who breached the Capitol in support of President Donald Trump and to thwart President-elect Joe Biden’s certification. The events of that day left five people dead, including police officer Brian D. Sicknick.

Jacobs said Officer Goodman is a “hero” for his actions that prevented further tragedy and that she wanted to show her appreciation.

“If he wants a vacation, he can stay free at our b&b in the south of France. Someone let him know. Hero,” she tweeted Jan. 11.

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In an exchange with theGrio, Jacobs explains in detail why she extended an invitation to him at Maison des Rêves that features a heated pool and hikes. There are also photography workshops and tours available at the luxury retreat.

Maison des Rêves
(Credit: Maison des Rêves)

She operates the adults-only Bed and Breakfast with her wife, Wendy Hick.

“It was a totally spontaneous thing. I saw the clip several times and you could just feel the wave of the crowd building and the hatred and the anger. I’m a bravery stan I guess,” Jacobs says.

“I can’t even begin to comprehend what he was feeling. And then seeing that still frame when he looked left. It was so lovely seeing how so many people responded with their own offers.”

Jacobs was shaken by the unfolding events.

“We watched it unfold in real time over here and it was utterly terrifying,” she continues.

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Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Jacobs is reflective when asked if her gesture will inspire others to make a difference in their own ways.

“Well, there was sure an outpouring of love in that thread. So many people talked about a GoFundMe for him, paying for his plane tix etc. And people said they were crying from all of it. I guess we can hope,” she says.

“Time works differently here; we’re surrounded by the remnants of so much hope and so much cruelty going back centuries, millennia. I try and keep it in that context thinking about the present stuff in the States but man it’s hard.”

Jacobs would like to get in touch with Officer Goodman but it’s “not necessary.”

“[I] didn’t do it for that of course. Someone just suggested he should get a medal and a vacation … soooo. They’re calling him a hero here in France too.”

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