Riots broke out at the Capitol Wednesday, leaving five people dead and dozens injured.
Trump supporters swarmed the building amid Congress beginning the certification of Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. However, video footage of a woman with a bloodied face began circulating while the riot was still ongoing, with early claims placing the blame on everyone from a Black Lives Matter activist to police or fellow rioters.
The reality of the situation began unfolding online when the woman’s daughter identified her mother as Therese Duke, and slowly turned the story into a truly wild saga.
The initial brief clip actually took place the evening before the riot. A clip shared by Facebook user Taki Hadley shows Duke, face covered in blood, naming “that Black girl” as her attacker. When pressed, she agrees with someone who claims “BLM hit you,” and blamed police for a lack of action.
Another clip turns this claim on its head. It shows a much broader angle of the altercation, where both Duke and the woman who struck her can be seen.
In the moments before she is struck, the video shows Duke attempting to snatch the phone of a woman who is dressed in uniform but does not appear to be Capitol police. She fails to snag the phone, and the woman promptly swivels and strikes Duke in the face.
The video was still viral as the Capitol riot began. Amidst the chaos, Duke’s daughter, Helena, took to Twitter to share her disgust over her family’s actions.
She even brought a meme from the summer of 2020 back around. “Hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent….this you?” Helena wrote, alongside a clip of her mother getting punched.
Helena continued to tweet at her mother, and she’s like Claudia Conway times 1,000.
“Mom I think you mean to say that [a] powerful Black woman punched you for harassment,” she wrote alongside the clip of Duke blaming Black Lives Matter for her injury.
When people began accusing Helena of inventing the story, she shared receipts.
“For those that don’t believe it’s my mother,” she wrote next to a photo of she, Duke, and a younger blonde girl on a hike.
After her first several tweets went viral, Helena decided to introduce herself to the people following the story.
“Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and going to BLM protests,” she wrote.
Directly following, she identified three family members who attended the Pro-Trump event. Her mother, aunt, and uncle were all apparently in attendance.
The family drama quickly spread online, with many people offering sympathy and support for Helena. In no time, she had offers to share a meal with one of several welcoming families.
A response to one of Helena’s tweets claims that the woman who punched Duke goes by Griselda Blanco on Facebook, and lost her job following the altercation.
The Daily Dot was unable to track down the account in question to verify this information.
According to a screenshot, however, Blanco reflexively struck Duke after “all 3 jumped me.”
“I asked them constantly to stop touching me following me and bothering me,” she continued in the post. “They kept surrounding me trying to steal my keys out my pocked and trying to take my phone as seen in the video. Yes I lost my job. Yes I’m good.”
While Duke gets her nose stitched up in D.C., Helena appears to be thriving among her newfound friends. Her tweets putting her family on blast continue to collect likes and retweets as of Friday morning.
Even her girlfriend, @chase_ycooke on Twitter, showed up to offer her support. She’s shared several messages of her own, thanking internet users for supporting her girlfriend and reveling in the condemnation Duke is receiving.
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