Woman Who Spit on BLM Protester Declines Probation, Chooses Jail Instead

A Wisconsin woman, who disrupted the BLM march and spat at a teenage protester in the summer of 2020 has chosen jail over probation.

BLM marches, and riots, continued in June 2020 just a few weeks after George Floyd’s death. Not everyone was in support. Stephanie Rapkin, a 67-year-old real estate and probate lawyer from Shorewood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin attempted to block BLM protesters with her car at one of these marches.

Rapkin found herself surrounded by angry protesters who chanted “I’m Black, and I’m Proud” and urged her to get out of the car. Eric Lucas, then 17 years old, appeared to get closer and closer to Rapkin while chanting about the pride of black people and gesturing aggressively at her. Rapkin spat back at Lucas, causing her saliva to hit him on his mouth and face area as well as the top of his shirt.

This action also infuriated the mob who then descended quickly on her. Video footage captured some of the incident and the uproar that followed.

Rapkin was arrested the next day at her house and charged with disorderly behavior as a hate crime. Rapkin told a policeman that she feared her safety as the mob approached, particularly since they were not wearing masks, and because she had survived cancer. Rapkin allegedly also kneed the arresting police officer in the groin, leading to a separate assault charge. The case will be tried by a jury later this summer.

The spitting case was a long process. A judge dismissed the hate crimes enhancement a year after it happened. Rapkin refused to accept a plea bargain and demanded that her case go to trial. Rapkin was found guilty of misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct last month, almost three years after her incident.

Rapkin rejected the sentence and hinted at its burdensomeness.

Rapkin added, “It’s not feasible.” She also said, “I would rather go to prison right now and deal with it.”

Anthony Cotton, her attorney, reminded the court that Cotton’s client had the right to reject the offer. “She does,” Crivello concurred. The 60 days of stay that I have imposed will begin today. Rapkin’s court records online were changed quickly to reflect that “the defendant is REJECTING probation.”

Rapkin refused to issue a public statement explaining her reasons and prevented her family members from speaking in her place. Cotton told reporters that he wasn’t surprised by the result of the hearing, but he didn’t provide any further details. Cotton told reporters that it was her decision and her right to make the final decision. He did not provide any further details.

Cotton stated that Rapkin’s reputation had been permanently tarnished by racist accusations and that Rapkin’s neighbors have disassociated themselves completely from her. He said she has received death threats. Rapkin confirmed Cotton’s description of Cotton’s life by telling Judge Crivello: “Your honor, nobody wants me.”