#Lawyer spits on black teen during Wisconsin protest, kicks cop in groin: report

#Lawyer spits on black teen during Wisconsin protest, kicks cop in groin: report

A white lawyer in Wisconsin has been arrested for allegedly spitting on a black teen protester – and then again after she was caught in another video shoving a college student who had been writing protest messages in front of her home, according to a report.

In the first case, Stephanie Rapkin, 64, showed up at an anti-racism rally in Shorewood on Saturday, parking her car in the street to block the march, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Stephanie Rapkin
Stephanie RapkinMilwaukee Sheriff’s Office

When demonstrators told her to move her vehicle, she spat on 17-year-old Eric Patrick Lucas III, who helped organize the event, according to the report.

She was booked into the Milwaukee County Jail on Sunday and faces charges of battery and disorderly conduct, but community leaders have called for stronger action – including being disbarred and being hit with a hate crime charge.

Her bail was set at $950.

“I continue to be mentally and physically shaken. To be assaulted by an adult in my own community during a pandemic was traumatic,” Lucas said, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“Again and again, I am viewed not as a child but as a color,” he added.

Rapkin later was captured on cell phone video in an altercation with a 21-year-old Ithaca College senior who had been writing protest messages in chalk on the sidewalk in front of her home, the paper reported.

“Be better than this” and “I spit on a child. How dare you!” Friedman wrote, among other messages, according to the outlet.

Shorewood resident Debra Brehmer on Sunday posted the footage of Rapkin confronting her son, Joe Friedman, and several other people who had joined him.

Friedman, who was holding the camera, captured their argument over the spitting incident.

“You spit on a child,” he says.

“You people are so incredibly stupid, it isn’t funny,” Rapkin responds. “I spit on a man who attacked me.”

“He did not attack you. How did he attack you?” Friedman says.

She then storms over to Friedman, saying, “I said I was sorry, but when someone comes over to you like this” – and appears to shove the young man in the chest.

“I am explaining how it happened!” she says.

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

“You are f—- bat—– crazy,” he adds as his mother says they will call the cops.

As she was being arrested in the incident, Rapkin allegedly kicked a cop in the groin, authorities said.

“The victim in today’s incident reported he was peacefully protesting on the sidewalk in front of suspect’s home, when the suspect came out and engaged in a verbal altercation with the protesters,” police said in a statement.

“The victim reported the suspect then slapped both of her hands on the victim’s chest and physically pushed him,” they added.

Police are pursuing charges of battery, disorderly conduct, battery to a law enforcement officer and resisting/obstructing an officer.

Michael Maistelman, an election law attorney, has filed a complaint with the state Office of Lawyer Regulation asking it to investigate Rapkin for possible professional misconduct, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Shorewood schools chief Bryan Davis denounced Rapkin’s behavior and praised Lucas and the other protest organizers.

The incident “exposed the horrific, overt racism that still exists in our community” and was an “appalling display of racial hatred,” Davis told the Journal Sentinel.

He called on the Milwaukee County DA’s Office to also charge Rapkin with a hate crime because her behavior was more than just disorderly conduct — it was “racial hatred aimed at disrupting a peaceful demonstration.”

“If we, as Milwaukee County, are going to treat racism as the crisis it is, we must make sure that law enforcement and our criminal justice system look at these types of incidents through a racially motivated lens,” he said.

On Monday, Urszula Tempska, a neighbor of Rapkin’s, said she believes the attorney acted out of fear when she left her car in the street, not knowing her shopping route would put her in the path of a protest.

“I understand why everybody has decided that she is a conscious racist” and “jumped to the conclusion that she was there to stop the protest,” Tempska told the paper.

She said that based on conversations she has had with Rapkin over 15 years, she believes the suspect is “not a conscious racist.”


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