Police in Washington D.C. have charged both women with simple assault after the two got into a fight as a Trump supporter allegedly provoked a Black special police officer causing her to physically defend herself the day before the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The incident was caught on video and has since gone viral.
Ashanti Smith, an unarmed special police officer, says she was acting in self defense when she punched a white Donald Trump supporter who was spewing insults her way.
“It was a large group of protesters coming down, and they were screaming racial slurs and screaming, 'F Antifa, F Antifa,'” she told NBC Washington.
Smith says she was on break from her downtown D.C. security job last Tuesday (January 5) when the protesters questioned who she was with and why she was there.
“They didn't have masks,” she said. “They proceed to try to take my mask off of my face. I was on Instagram live just to protect myself and also show everyone what was going on.”
Freedom News TV captioned the clash just as Smith punched a Trump supporter who reached for her.
“Three gentlemen, they grabbed me, but at the time, one of them hit me and then they dragged me to the police line,” Smith said.
Video subsequently shows a woman who was with the protester hit Smith on the back of her head. According to documents, police have since identified her as Anne Lorenz, who was charged with simple assault and assault on the officer. As a result, Smith was also charged with assault for punching Lorenz.
“Considering what we saw this group of people, or the group at large do the following day, I think it could have been a lot worse for Ms. Smith,” said defense attorney Brandon Burrell.
A GoFundMe page has already raised over $128,000 for Smith’s legal defense. She says she’s on leave from her job as an investigation is underway.