A Massachusetts woman reportedly lost her hospital job after her daughter identified her at the U.S. Capitol during last week’s riot in a social media video.
Therese Duke lost her job at UMass Memorial after her daughter, 18-year-old Helene Duke, identified her being punched in the face by a security guard outside the Capitol on January 6, according to The Hill. Helene retweeted the viral video with the comment “hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent…this you?”
The video shows uniformed security guard Ashanti Smith, who is Black, surrounded by the mob as a white woman, presumably Therese Duke, moves her arm towards Smith’s chest. Smith then punches her in the face. A second video shows Therese, with a bloodied face, explaining that she had been punched by “the black girl,” referring to Smith. Helene commented “mom I think you mean to say that powerful black woman punched you for harassment…” while sharing the second video.
Helene provided further detail in identifying members of her family who were allegedly present at the riot in another tweet, revealing that her aunt and uncle had accompanied her mother to the violent event, which was held in support of President Donald Trump‘s false claims that the presidential election had been “stolen.”
“Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and for going to BLM protests to care what happens to me so: Mom: Therese Duke Uncle: Richard Lorenz Aunt: Annie Lorenz,” Helene tweeted on January 7.
Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and for going to BLM protests to care what happens to me so: Mom: Therese DukeUncle: Richard LorenzAunt: Annie Lorenz pic.twitter.com/cuBAPJ3GJA
— Helena Duke (@duke_helena) January 7, 2021
In a subsequent interview with CBC’s As It Happens, Helene explained that her mother had been fired from her UMass Memorial job “because she does work at a hospital and she obviously went to a protest with many people and she wasn’t wearing a mask.”
“Over the past 24 hours we have received numerous expressions of concern through social media regarding a UMass Memorial caregiver who may have been involved in this week’s violent events at the nation’s capitol,” UMass Memorial said in a January 8 statement. “The employee in question is no longer a part of our organization.”
Newsweek reached out to UMass Memorial, who declined to provide any further information or comment.
Smith and Annie Lorenz were both charged with simple assault after the incident, according to Washington, D.C. NBC station WRC. Smith told the station that she had acted in self defense after being harassed and assaulted by the maskless mob, who also allegedly attempted to remove her face mask during the altercation.
A GoFundMe campaign to help Smith with legal fees had accumulated over $140,000 as of Wednesday, far more than the campaign’s $85,000 goal. A separate “Help Helena Duke pay for college” fundraiser had raised over $43,000.
Massachusetts Mom Loses Job After Daughter Outs Her as Capitol Rioter: ‘This You?’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.