An elderly Wisconsin woman has been found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for spitting at a Black Lives Matter activist during the violent “Summer of Love” in 2020.
Stephanie Rapkin, 67, a white lawyer, was originally charged with “disorderly conduct as a hate crime,” because the protester, Eric Lucas, was black.
The judge dismissed the “hate crime” enhancement before the guilty verdict.
The incident occurred during an “anti-racism” march in a Milwaukee suburb over the death of George Floyd.
“In June of 2020, Rapkin showed up at the protest in Shorewood and parked her car in the street, blocking the anti-racism march that was one of thousands held around the U.S. in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer,” the Associated Press reports. “When protesters approached her to urge her to move her car, video shows Rapkin spitting on Eric Lucas, then a 17-year-old junior at Shorewood High School. Lucas had helped organize and lead the march.”
Rapkin maintains that she had spit near Lucas, not on him.
The elderly lawyer told a police officer that she was a cancer survivor and was upset that the protesters were surrounding her and not wearing masks.
Rapkin is facing a separate felony charge for allegedly kneeing the arresting officer in the groin when he went to her home the day after the spitting incident. That trial is scheduled for August.
Under the current verdict, Rapkin is facing up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23.
Defense attorney Anthony Cotton said she is remorseful and that the incident ruined her career.
“She definitely has regret over what happened,” Cotton said.
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