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Lawyer Arrested for Spitting on a Protester, Shoving Another and Kneeing Officer in the Groin
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A Wisconsin attorney was arrested twice over the weekend for spitting on a black protester, shoving another the next day, and allegedly kneeing a police officer in the groin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Stephanie Rapkin, a white 64-year-old tax, real estate, and probate attorney of Shorewood, Wisconsin, was first arrested Saturday afternoon for spiting on a 17-year-old black protester, during a peaceful #BlackLivesMatter march in which hundreds protested the killing of George Floyd.

The incident, which was filmed by another protester, started when Rapkin parked her car in the middle of North Oakland Avenue to block demonstrators from marching.

  
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The video posted on Facebook shows Rapkin walking away from the car, while a person taping the incident asks her multiple times to move her car. After refusing to move her car, a group of protesters gathered around the attorney, in an effort to persuade her to make way for protesters. Moments after, Rapkin spat on the teenager, who was part of the peaceful march.

The teenager, Eric Patrick Lucas III, told CBS 58 that he felt “a quick rush of anger, pain, confusion” after Rapkin spit in his face. The march was “supposed to be peaceful, and the meaning behind it was that my life mattered, and that showed me that my life doesn’t matter,” he said.

“When that happened, it was just a quick rush of anger, pain, confusion. I didn’t know how to feel,” Lucas said.

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Witnesses told CBS 58 that several people asked her to move even before the crowd surrounded her.

“And she’s like, ‘I’m not moving nothing, I’m not moving nothing,'” Shorewood protester Rebecca Nunez recounted.



“We were yelling, ‘black lives matter, I’m black, and I’m proud,’ and she got mad,” Shorewood protester and Lucas’ friend, Ilijah Taylor-Jordan, told CBS 58

Soon after, the local police arrested Rapkin—now nicknamed the “Shorewood Spitter” online—but did not take her Milwaukee County Jail because of COVID-19 concerns.

On Sunday, Rapkin was yet again a part of another confrontation, now with a 21-year-old college student who was writing in chalk on her sidewalk in protest of her Saturday behavior. He wrote, “I spit on a child. How dare you!” and, “Be better than this.” 

After a short argument, the attorney allegedly shoved the student who was filming Rapkin in an attempt to demonstrate how she was physically attacked by the teen protester.

“You just put your hands on me,” the student said in response. “That is assault right there. Wow, I just got that on video, ma’am.”

The video was posted on Facebook by the student’s mother who said, “Rapkin was not the least bit remorseful for spitting on a 17-year-old kid at the protest.”

That student is Joe Friedman, a communications major, who said in the interview he was stunned that Rapkin had compounded her earlier mistake by pushing him. A woman at the scene, he said, immediately called the police to report what happened.

When police tried to arrest Rapkin for battery and disorderly conduct, she allegedly resisted their attempts to handcuff her, and during the struggle, she struck one of the officers in the groin.

Rapkin is now facing charges of disorderly conduct, battery, resisting/obstructing an officer and battery to a law enforcement officer.

Michael Maistelman, an election law attorney, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that an ethics investigation was filed against Rapkin.

Larry J. Martin, executive director of the State Bar of Wisconsin, wrote on Sunday that he watched the video of the spitting incident and is “both disgusted and disturbed… There is no justifiable reason for one person to ever spit on another individual.”

The State Bar of Wisconsin said on Facebook it was “disturbed and disgusted by the actions of an attorney who allegedly spat in the face of a protester during a demonstration on Saturday.”

The post said the leaders “do not condone this behavior under any circumstance—period. The State Bar of Wisconsin champions integrity, civility, and respect in dealings with the public, colleagues, clients, and the courts.



 

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