A black security guard said she has been fired after she was filmed punching the MAGA mom who was shamed by her teen daughter.
Footage from the Washington DC protest on January 5, shows 50-year-old Therese Duke trying to snatch a phone out of the hands of Ashanti Smith, 28, who immediately wheeled around and jabbed the Trump supporter in the face with her fist.
Smith is then shoved toward a crowd of cops, before a melee broke out between the two sides and pepper spray was deployed during a demonstration at BLM Plaza in Washington, D.C – the night before a mob stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Smith, who had been on break from her job as a security guard, said she was terrified after being surrounded by the baying DC, and responded in self defense when Duke attempted to knock the phone from her hand.
‘I honestly feared for my life. The video makes me look like I am the aggressor, but it does not show what happened prior to my defending myself,’ Smith said.
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Ashanti Smith, 28, has been fired from her job as a security guard after punching Capitol rioter
Smith was seen socking Therese Duke after the MAGA mom tried grabbing her phone
Last week, 18-year-old Helena Duke went viral when she re-tweeted the video showing her mother with blood streaming down her face after being socked by Smith.
Duke added a caption the read: ‘Hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent…this you?’
The teen has also since defended outing her mom, and aunt an uncle who attended the same event, in an interview with Good Morning America — claiming she was emotional but did not regret posting the tweet.
‘It was an emotional thing to decide to do this but at the same time if I did nothing I was, I felt that I was as bad as them,’ Duke told GMA, according to WMAR.
Smith has started a GoFundMe to raise money to pay for her legal fees that raised more than $165,000 by Thursday morning, and said she was defending herself.
The security guard said she before the video was taken by FreedomNewsTV, she was shoved as ‘Trump extremists’ tried to snatch her phone and keys while yelling racial epithets at her.
‘I asked them to social distance and stay out of my personal space due to COVID-19. They refused, and I was afraid of being hurt and harmed,’ Smith said.
‘After being assaulted, I defended myself. I am now facing criminal charges along with being relieved from my employment pending an investigation. Which places me in a hardship situation at the moment.’
Smith said in an interview with WHUR that she was on break and ‘went to get a breath of fresh air’ when she was encountered by the group of people and was harassed.
‘[One woman] kept approaching me and getting in my personal space, asking if we could be friends,’ Smith said.
‘She was heavily intoxicated, she kept trying to offer me a drink. In the videos, you can see she was carrying a Bud Light can but it was filled with liquor.’
Smith added that the woman then asked her if she was a supporter of Trump or Biden, and she said she supported neither.
‘She said you’re effing antifa … and her and her friends proceeded to follow me. They were screaming eff that [censored],’ Smith said.
She said Duke then tried to take her phone, when Smith tried ‘to move her hand to get her out of my personal space.’
‘That’s when a gentleman hit me and they started to surround me,’ she said.
Smith added that the videos circulating online were not her first interactions with ‘those people.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Smith for additional comment.
The younger Duke said that until about thee years ago, her mother had been a Democrat, but a year into Trump’s presidency she became ‘brainwashed’ by the Make America Great Again movement.
Helena Duke, 18, from Massachusetts, took to Twitter in Thursday to identify her mother as a US Capitol rioter who was seen in a viral video being punched in the face by a cop
Helena Duke, 18, on Thursday, re-tweeted a viral video showing her mother, Therese Duke (right) fighting with an unnamed cop (center)
Therese is later seen with blood running down her face after the confrontation
In a follow-up tweet, Helena shared a screenshot of the bloodied pro-Donald Trump protester alongside a photo showing a woman she identified as her mother, writing: ‘for those that don’t believe it’s my mother…’
The video of the violent confrontation, which as of Friday evening has been viewed more than 9.5million times, shows Therese trying to snatch a cellphone from the hands of a black cop.
The uniformed woman immediately wheeled around and jabbed the Trump supporter in the face with her fist.
The officer is then shoved toward a crowd of cops, before a melee broke out between the two sides and pepper spray was deployed.
Another clip showed a bleeding Therese being asked who hit her, to which she replied: ‘That girl punched me in the face. That black girl.’
Helena later re-tweeted that video, writing: ‘Mom I think you mean to say that powerful black woman punched you for harassment…’
She claims that her mom went to Washington DC after telling family she was taking a relative to out-of-town doctor.
Helena shared a photo of herself with her mom, who she believes was brainwashed by Trump
Duke called out her mother for being a hypocrite for previously kicking her out of the house for attending Black Lives Matter protests
Helena told The New York Post that she only learned that her mother was taking part in the violent revolt inspired by Trump’s speech calling on his supporters to march on the Capitol during Joe Biden’s victory certification on Wednesday after seeing videos online.
According to the teen, her mother told her she was going out of town for three days to drive her aunt to a medical facility to undergo a procedure.
‘She didn’t give me any more information about it, she was very vague … When I found out about the Capitol being stormed, I looked at her location sharing and it had been off for two days, so I assumed in that moment, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, she might actually be there,” Duke told The Post.
‘And then the next day, my cousin shared a video of her getting punched in the face … by police after harassing them.’
Helena said initially she had misgivings about publicly shaming her mother, but ultimately she decided to do it because of her mother’s past conduct, including kicking the daughter out of the house for attending Black Lives Matter protests last year.
‘At first I was kind of uneasy about it, but I think it was definitely so hypocritical of her to end up kicking me out of the house for going to peaceful protests because she assumed they’d be violent, and then end up going to this, which was obviously a very violent attack on the Capitol — and end up harassing a cop,’ she said.
To prove the woman in the video is her mom, Therese Duke, Helena posted these two side-by-side photos
‘Her actions were appalling and I did not think she could possibly stoop this low,’ Helena told Newsweek. ‘Seeing her harass a black woman and attending a violent event is very hypocritical of her.’
Helena said that her aunt and uncle also took part in the unrest in Washington DC.
A LinkedIn page for a Therese Duke from Massachusetts lists her employer as UMass Memorial Health Care for the past 16 years.
On Friday, the nation’s third-largest health care provider released a statement, saying it was investigating allegations that one employee or more may have taken part in the DC riots.
‘We strongly condemn such behavior, if true,’ the statement read in part.