Teen Who Identified Mom Who Was Punched by Cop in Video at Capitol Speaks Out
Helena Duke wrote on Twitter that a woman punched in the face by an officer at the Capitol was her mother, who Duke says previously warned her about violence at a Black Lives Matter rally last year.
Imagine watching the unrest playing out in Washington and seeing your mother in the middle of it all. That's what happened to Helena Duke, 18, of Boston, who identified her mom at the Capitol in a video posted to Twitter.
Her mom was punched in the face by a security officer after an intense confrontation in Washington, D.C. the night before the Capitol siege. The video was posted online, where it was seen by the bloodied woman’s daughter.
Duke was stunned that it was her mom, because she had no idea her mother was in Washington to attend President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally.
“It was definitely very unsettling especially because we do have very different views,” Duke told Inside Edition.
Duke says she got so incensed she outed her mom with a tweet: “Hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent...this you?"
Duke says she also outed her aunt and uncle, who were also at the rally. Duke doesn't know if her family went to the Capitol where the mayhem unfolded, but she knows that her mom is furious with her, and says she was kicked out of the house after attending a Black Lives Matter rally in Boston.
She says her mom sent her a message after the tweet.
“She told me that I was throwing away my life, that my life is ruined and that my sister’s life is on my hands,” Duke said.
Inside Edition also spoke to Ashanti Smith, the private security officer who threw the punch. She says the crowd surrounded her and called her the n-word.
"I was in fear for my life," Smith said. "They were trying to take my items. They were trying to take my mask off my face. They were hitting me, attacking me."
Smith was charged with assault and has been suspended from her job. She says she appreciates Helena Duke's support.
"She has reached out to me, and her and her friends have been showing a lot of support," Smith said.
"I don't think she did anything wrong," Helena Duke said.
After the video surfaced, Theresa Duke was fired from her job at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.
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