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Capitol police officer praised as hero for diverting mob from Senate chamber

The officer got widespread praise on social media, some of it from lawmakers and journalists caught in Wednesday's fray.

A Capitol Police officer is being praised as a hero for his actions during last week's unrest at the U.S. Capitol after a viral video showed him diverting rioters from the Senate chamber, where lawmakers were taking cover.

The mob, which formed to protest President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump, was steps from the Senate doors when an officer, who is Black, confronted the group's leader and walked the other way, prompting a chase when all of them followed him.

The moment was captured on video by HuffPost's Igor Bobic:

The officer received widespread praise on social media, some of it from lawmakers and journalists caught in the fray. NBC News has not verified the officer's identity.

Capitol Police as a whole have faced scrutiny over their response, with critics pointing out discrepancies between how officers reacted to the mob compared to the law enforcement response to Black Lives Matter protesters last summer. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced Thursday that he was stepping down.