Ashanti Smith, an unarmed security guard whose interaction with a mob of Trump supporters on Jan. 5 went viral, is now facing legal troubles.
In an interview on The Clay Cane Show via SiriusXM Urban View, the 28-year-old explained in further detail what happened that night.
Smith said there were two interactions with Trump supporters and the first interaction was not on video.
Smith, who was unarmed, said she was on break from her downtown D.C. security job when the protesters questioned who she was with and why she was there. She said the group of people were “heavily intoxicated,” including Theresa Duke, the person Smith says she defended herself against.
Smith said the group asked her if she was a Trump supporter and when she said no, they began shouting that she was with Antifa. She says she tried to walk away but was followed.
“They didn’t have on masks. They began to proceed to try to take my mask off of my face. They tried to take my phone out of my hand. They kept brushing up and bumping and hitting me,” Smith explained.
“I proceeded to try to walk to the police barricade while I’m trying to defend myself… The gentleman that is seen, trying to hit me after I defend myself against her [Theresa Duke], he was already hitting and assaulting me. A police officer has seen everything that was going on. They pulled me to the police barricade and they told me to stand by.”
Smith said when police “felt as though that it was safe” she was allowed to walk away, “as soon as I was walking away from the police barricade, I was surrounded again by the same group of people, but they came with a larger crowd.”
She continued, “At this time, I’m being grabbed by several different people. I hear racial slurs of ‘Hang the [n***** b****], hang them. They all deserve to die, kill her.’ I’m being pulled from every direction. I’m trying to walk away. They keep surrounding me and closing in on me, someone actually spit on me moments prior to the video that surfaced.”
Smith says when Duke reached over across her face is when she defended herself with a punch.
See the clip below:
Smith also revealed when she was pushed to the police barricade, which is where she was attacked from behind by Anne Lorenz, she was told by police she could not stay there and had to leave. Police did not even escort her away from the crowd, “They told me I had to go back into the same crowd that I just got attacked by.”
Smith left and returned later to retrieve items that were left at the incident. Originally, she said a detective told her she was a victim of an assault and a hate crime, which she claims police confirmed but things quickly changed.
“He had to walk away for a couple of minutes. He came back less than five minutes later. He told me to put my hands behind my back and told the officers to place me under arrest… I was put in the vehicle and in handcuffs and I was not read any of my rights. I was transported to a police station and I was charged for assault.”
Anne Lorenz was charged with simple assault.
Since the video has gone viral, Smith says she has “received numerous threats, hate messages on my social media. My family has also been harassed. I am in fear for my life at this point and I was at that point as well.”
According to her GoFundMe campaign to raise money for legal fees, the 28-year-old wrote she has been “relieved from my employment pending an investigation.” She has declined to name her employer.
Smith emphasized, “A lot of people do not understand that the videos that you all are seeing is not my first encounter with this group. It is my second one.”
Helena Duke, the mother of Thersea Duke and niece Anne Lorenz, has been advocating for Ashanti Smith on social media. On Jan. 11, she tweeted, “The harassment is blatantly obvious in this video.”
Smith also said she and Helena Duke have spoken via FaceTime.
The day after the incident, the insurrection at the Capitol took place, which was incited by President Trump. It’s not known if Theresa Duke or Anne Lorenz participated in the insurrection.
Watch Ashanti Smith’s interview on The Clay Cane Show below: