“Three gentlemen, they grabbed me, but at the time, one of them hit, me and then they dragged me to the police line,” Smith told NBC Washington. She added on a Gofundme page to raise money for her legal defense that the video makes her look like “the aggressor, but it does not show what happened prior to my defending myself.”
The officer wrote on the fundraising page, which had generated more than $138,700 by Wednesday afternoon:
“I am a 28-year-old African American woman who lives in the Washington DC metropolitan area. I recently was assaulted, attacked and harassed by a group of Trump supporters on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC on January 5th, 2021. A video has surfaced where I was surrounded by a group of Trump extremists, and I honestly feared for my life. The video makes me look like I am the aggressor, but it does not show what happened prior to my defending myself. People shoved me, tried to take my phone and keys, yelled racial epithets at me, and tried to remove my mask. I asked them to social distance and stay out of my personal space due to COVID 19. They refused, and I was afraid of being hurt and harmed. After being assaulted, I defended myself. I am now facing criminal charges along with being relieved from my employment pending an investigation. Which places me in a hardship situation at the moment. I am asking for support and help with funds for my legal fees and to maintain the essential things that I need to survive during this time. Any amount of help is truly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.”
Brandon Burrell, the attorney representing Smith said the attack could have been more severe in an interview with NBC Washington. Smith was attacked the day before terrorists stormed the Capitol last Wednesday in Washington D.C. in an attempted coup that ended with at least four people dead and 14 police officers injured. “Considering what we saw this group of people, or the group at large do the following day,” Burrell said, “I think it could have been a lot worse for Ms. Smith.”
Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died when rioters pulled him down cement stairs, and beat him, The New York Times reported. One of the assailants held a fire extinguisher, and another beat the cop with the American flag, the newspaper reported. “USA! USA! USA!” the violent mob screamed.