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Capitol Riot: UMass Parts Ways With Caregiver Who Appeared Bloodied In Video

On Twitter, Helena Duke identifies a woman at the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building as her mother, Therese Duke. Photo Credit: Twitter/@duke_helena
This video-still is the first image on a GoFundMe for Ashanti Smith who is accused of punching a woman at the Jan. 6 Capitol Building riot. Smith said she was acting in self-defense. Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Ashanti Smith

A University of Massachusetts employee no longer works there following her apparent involvement in the Capitol Building riot in Washington, D.C.

The fallout from the Wednesday, Jan. 6, pro-Trump riot at the Capitol is becoming more apparent as people who allegedly participated in violence are identified, arrested, and, in some cases, are undergoing professional consequences.

On Friday, Jan. 8, in a statement, University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care said that it had received numerous complaints and concerns that one of its caregivers had been involved in the riot. “The employee in question is no longer a part of our organization,” UMass Memorial tweeted.

The woman in question has been identified by her daughter - and confirmed by video and media reports - as Therese Duke. Duke was exposed in a video from the attack that her daughter posted to Twitter. The video appears to show a black woman being confronted by a group of rioters. Helena Duke, Therese’s daughter, identified her mother as one of the people in the video. The footage reportedly shows what appears to be Therese Duke making a grab for the black woman, according to the Boston Globe. Another tweet from Helena Duke about the confrontation shows her mother with a bloodied face.

A woman named Ashanti Smith says she is the black woman in the video and she has started a GoFundMe to raise legal funds for her defense. Smith is accused of punching Duke. Smith said she was acting in self-defense.

In addition to Duke, other people from Massachusetts have been identified or accused of being among the rioters. A member of Somerville’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund said she was at the Jan. 6 event, but she did not take part in any physical confrontations or enter the Capitol Building. She described the violence of the day as “stupid” in an interview with the Globe.

A Berkshries resident, David Ross, was arrested in D.C. in connection with the riot.

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