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Teen becomes internet hero after naming her mom, aunt, and uncle as Capitol rioters

The teen revealed that she was unaware of her mom participating in the violent uprising until she saw the footage online.

Teen becomes internet hero after naming her mom, aunt, and uncle as Capitol rioters
Cover Image Source: A group of pro-Trump protesters stands on an armored police vehicle on the grounds of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

A Massachusetts teen pulled no punches as she called out her mother, aunt, and uncle for participating in the violent "Stop the Steal" rally-turned-riot at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6. 18-year-old Helena Duke publically named and shamed her family members on Twitter after her mother — whom she identified as Therese Duke — was seen getting punched in the face in a viral video taken during the pro-Trump protest Wednesday. In the clip, the woman appears to get struck right between her eyes for trying to snatch a phone off a Black woman who was filming the mayhem.



Sharing the video, Duke — who said she was kicked out and disavowed by her family multiple times for her views as a self-identified "liberal lesbian" — tweeted: "Hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn't go to BLM protests [because] they could get violent... this you?" The teen followed up the tweet with another post comparing a picture of the bloody-faced woman in the video with a picture of her mom, saying "for those that don't believe it's my mother..." Speaking to New York Post, Duke revealed that she was unaware of her mom participating in the violent uprising until seeing footage online.



She explained that her mother had informed her that she would be out of town for three days to take her aunt to get a medical procedure done. "She didn't give me any more information about it, she was very vague... When I found out about the Capitol being stormed, I looked at her location sharing and it had been off for two days, so I assumed in that moment, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, she might actually be there,'" she said. "And then the next day, my cousin shared a video of her getting punched in the face... by police after harassing them."



Duke said she believes Therese, who was a Democrat before abruptly changing her political views about three years ago, has been "brainwashed" by the MAGA movement. "I'm not surprised that these actions occurred or that my mom was involved with it because I think at this point, all she had in her head was that whatever the president tells her is right and is what she will go along with. So I think she had in her mind this was the right thing to do," she said.



Duke admitted that she initially had mixed feelings about calling out her mother on social media since it could lead to her arrest. However, she ultimately decided to take the brave step as her mom had previously kicked her out of their home for attending a Black Lives Matter protest last year. "At first I was kind of uneasy about it, but I think it was definitely so hypocritical of her to end up kicking me out of the house for going to peaceful protests because she assumed they'd be violent and then end up going to this, which was obviously a very violent attack on the Capitol — and end up harassing a cop," she said. She added that she doesn't think her mom actually entered the Capitol building.




Since her now-viral tweet outing her family members, Duke has received immense love and support from netizens. "Hi Helena & anyone in this situation, I want to leave this here and let you know I'm a good mom, a kick-ass cook & a hugger (when you need it) so stop by anytime you're in SC and need some family. My DMs & heart are open to anyone who needs it," tweeted @mandysue_3. " Twitter user Kevin Carr O'Leary extended a similar invitation, writing: "Hey, I’m a gay dad of two. They’re your cousins now cause we’re family, okay? Great. My husband is awesome—you’ll love him. Dinner is at 7 (probably 8 cause I graze and forget everyone is hungry.) Lemme know about allergies. Queer folks have chosen our family for a long time."







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