“ I defended myself ”: Ashanti Smith, an officer seen beating Therese Duke in a viral video on the United States Capitol, accused of assault
A black woman in a uniform who was seen punching a woman in a viral video in Washington on Wednesday has been arrested and released from her job.
In the video, which was shared widely on social media, Ashanti Smith, 28, can be seen in a large group near Black Lives Matter Plaza. A white woman, identified as Therese Duke of Charlton, Massachusetts by her daughter on Twitter, appears to be searching for Smith’s phone. Smith then hits Duke.
Smith was charged with assault.
Smith was in full uniform and was “on a Civilian Disruption Unit (CDU) mountain bike deployment” during the incident, according to court documents. Although it does not indicate if she worked for the Capitol Police.
The punch, according to court documents, caused a “small laceration” to Duke’s left eye. Later in the video, Duke bleeds.
Smith was then followed and beaten by Anne Lorenz, according to court documents.
Lorenz is related to Duke, a tweet from his niece said.
Lorenz punched Smith twice in the head or shoulder area, according to the documents. She was charged with assaulting a police officer.
After the woman identified as Lorenz punched Smith, the crowd erupted into a larger brawl, which is later controlled by officers, the video shows.
“The police line officers released an OC spray to control the crowd,” according to court documents.
“Hi Mom, remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests because they might turn violent,” Duke’s daughter Helena tweeted Thursday.
Helena said in tweets that her mother Therese, Aunt Lorenz and Uncle Richard Lorenz were all in the viral video.
A LinkedIn Therese’s profile mentions UMass Memorial Health Care as her employer, and tweets were sent to mark UMass Memorial and alert the organization to Duke’s participation on Capitol Hill.
Helena also confirmed in tweets that her mother worked for UMass Memorial Health Care.
UMass Memorial Health Care released a declaration saying a caregiver is no longer employed with them after reporting that the individual may have been involved in the violence and insurgency on the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
“Over the past 24 hours, we have received numerous expressions of concern on social media about a UMass Memorial caregiver who may have been involved in this week’s violent events in the nation’s capital. This employee is no longer with our organization, ”UMass Memorial said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Lorenz of Milford was previously listed as working for Lakefront Living Realty in Mansfield as a ‘Lakeside Buyers Specialist’. The press release has since been deleted.
Lakefront Living Realty did not respond to requests to speak to MassLive.
Smith was also “relieved to [her] job awaiting investigation, ”according to a GoFundMe she created to help pay for legal fees.
“The video makes me feel like the aggressor, but it doesn’t show what happened before I stood up for myself. People pushed me, tried to take my phone and keys, shouted racial epithets at me and tried to remove my mask, ”says GoFundMe. “After being assaulted, I defended myself. I now face criminal charges.
the GoFundMe raised nearly $ 70,000 from his goal of $ 75,000 Monday morning.