Elderly Woman Convicted for Spitting on BLM Protestors Facing 90 Days in Jail
An elderly Wisconsin woman has recently been found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for spitting at a Black Lives Matter activist during the violent protests that swept the nation in 2020.
Stephanie Rapkin, a 67-year-old lawyer, was initially charged with “disorderly conduct as a hate crime” because the protester, Eric Lucas, was black, and she is white. However, the judge dismissed the “hate crime” enhancement before the verdict.
The incident occurred during an “anti-racism” march in June of 2020 in Milwaukee. The march was held to protest the controversial death of George Floyd. Rapkin arrived at the protest in Shorewood and parked her car in the street, blocking the anti-racism march through the suburbs.
When protesters approached her to urge her to move her car, video evidence shows Rapkin spitting on Eric Lucas, then a 17-year-old junior at Shorewood High School, who had helped organize and lead the march.
When authorities attempted to arrest her the day after at her home, Rapkin resisted arrest, kneeing one officer in the groin, the criminal complaint said.
In court on Tuesday, Rapkin’s defense argued that she spit toward Lucas but not on him, according to WDJT-TV. And, according to the criminal complaint, Rapkin told an investigating officer she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because she was surrounded by protesters who were not wearing coronavirus protective masks. It’s important to note that Rapkin was not wearing a mask at the time, undermining her claim somewhat.
LIVE: Stephanie Rapkin takes the stand https://t.co/8qsYPZvCsH
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Last summer, Rapkin turned down a plea deal, and in the trial, she claimed, “I had spit to defend myself.” Rapkin said he said she felt unsafe and was trying to get out of the way of protesters.
After the trial, Rapkin’s defense attorney, Anthony Cotton, told reporters that Rapkin regrets her actions and that her career has been ruined due to the incident.
“She definitely has regret over what happened,” he said.
Rapkin faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 when she’s sentenced on May 23 for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. She’s still charged with assaulting a police officer, according to court documents, and is scheduled for a trial in August.
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