Criminal Justice

Lawyer accused of spitting on protester, shoving another and kneeing officer in groin

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A Wisconsin lawyer was arrested twice over the weekend for allegedly spitting on a protester, shoving another and kneeing a police officer in the groin.

The lawyer, 64-year-old Stephanie Rapkin of Shorewood, Wisconsin, was first arrested Saturday for spitting on a 17-year-old youth in an incident caught on video, report the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WISN. Rapkin is white, and the youth is black.

The video shows a car parked in the street, blocking a protest march. Rapkin walks away from the car, and a person taping the incident asks Rapkin multiple times to move her car.

A group of protesters gather around Rapkin and shout at her. Rapkin shouts back and spits in the youth’s face. A group of people then surround Rapkin, keeping her separated from the youth and moving her away.

The youth, 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.

On Sunday, Rapkin confronted a 21-year-old college student who was writing in chalk on her sidewalk. His messages included, “Be better than this,” and “I spit on a child. How dare you!”

Rapkin approaches and argues with the student, telling him that she spit on the boy because he attacked her. Rapkin then appears to shove the student, telling him that is how she was attacked. The video is here.

When police tried to arrest Rapkin, she allegedly resisted arrest and kneed an officer in the groin. Police are seeking charges of battery, disorderly conduct, battery to a law enforcement officer, and resisting/obstructing an officer.

A website describes Rapkin as an estate planning and probate attorney in Mequon, Wisconsin. She is a lawyer in good standing with no public disciplinary history.

Michael Maistelman, an election law lawyer, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has asked for an ethics investigation.

The leadership of 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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