“Shorewood Spitter” Taken To Jail After Second Incident
Attorney Stephanie Rapkin is accused of spitting on teenager, shoving college student and kneeing police officer in groin.
Stephanie Rapkin is accused of spitting in the face of a teenager at a Saturday afternoon protest march through suburban Shorewood. But now she has even more problems on her hands, and finds herself in the Milwaukee County Jail.
Rapkin, who is white, parked and exited her vehicle on N. Oakland Ave. as thousands of people engaged in a protest march approached Saturday afternoon. Multiple people, as captured on video, asked her to move her vehicle.
But she did not comply, and instead is accused of spitting on a 17-year-old black teenager from the approaching march. In a Facebook video she is seen jumping and jerking her head forward.
People pulled her away from the crowd, but in another video Rapkin is heard saying “I can’t breathe” as she sits in a corner. “Neither could George, that’s the whole point,” says someone off camera, a reference to George Floyd being choked to death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
The Shorewood Police Department arrested her Saturday night, and she now faces charges of battery and disorderly conduct.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Rapkin’s Shorewood home was targeted for an act of civil disobedience on Sunday. People suggested covering her public sidewalk in chalk messages in support of the protests, including a message of “Black Lives Matter.” Messages were also added including “I spit on a child” and “racist lives here” with arrows towards the house.
The individual, speaking to Urban Milwaukee on a condition of anonymity, said the messages were written within the sight of onlooking neighbors. Police eventually arrived, but the protesters asserted they were in the public right-of-way and not causing any harm.
Left to be, the chalk artists continued. Only for Rapkin to emerge from her home.
“Hi, my name is Stephanie,” she says to one of the participants. Who responds bluntly, “no.”
“Hi, how are you, are you guys having a good day?” she asks others.
The recording was then stopped out of fear that Rapkin was exhibiting signs of mental illness, the individual told Urban Milwaukee.
But shortly thereafter Rapkin would push one of the participants, a white male college student.
The police were called again, and for the second time in as many days Rapkin was led from her in handcuffs. Only this time the officers had to enter the home and forcefully remove her.
The Shorewood Police Department reports that one officer was kneed in the groin.
She also wasn’t released this time. The Milwaukee County Inmate Search shows that she is in Milwaukee County Jail with a $950 bail.
The police department is now pursuing additional changes of battery to a law enforcement officer and obstructing an officer.
Rapkin, 64, is an estate planning and probate attorney who practices out of an office in Mequon.
The list of people and groups denouncing her actions is long, and growing.
“We are proud of all the Shorewood youth that stood up to speak about their experiences at the march on Saturday,” said the Village Board in a statement. “The Village Board recognizes the diversity of our community is our strength and is joining those around the nation to bring an end to violence and injustice towards people of color.”
“I’d like to publicly denounce the racist actions taken by the woman outside Metro Market, and make it very clear: she does not represent our Shorewood!,” said Arthur Ircink, village trustee and business improvement district board president.
“A white woman named Stephanie Rapkin was so upset by the Northshore March for Georges Floyd organized by Shorewood black youth that she parked her car to block the nearly 5K ppl & then assaulted a young black man by spitting on him. Stephanie you about to lose your Law License!,” wrote state representative David Bowen in a tweet.
But it won’t be the bar association that takes her license, though it’s not pleased with her actions.
“As the leadership of the State Bar of Wisconsin, we are disturbed and disgusted by the actions of an attorney who allegedly spat in the face of a protester during a demonstration on Saturday. We 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. The behavior of lawyers and others directly contributes to the public’s confidence in our justice system. We unequivocally support equal justice and the right of all citizens to peacefully protest. News reports indicate local Shorewood officials are handling this matter with charges being referred to the district attorney’s office this week. While the State Bar has no authority to discipline lawyers, the State of Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation investigates complaints and ultimately the Wisconsin Supreme Court imposes sanctions on licensed attorneys,” said the Wisconsin Bar Association’s elected leaders in a statement, including president Jill Kastner and president-elect Kathy Brost.
What happens next for the protest movement?
The public support for the peaceful marches is growing, with thousands marching across Milwaukee on Saturday and Sunday.
“If we don’t get what we need, we are going to be looking to break that 200 day record of those that came before us,” said organizer Vaun Mayes. For more information on what types of reforms are sought across the country, see the 8 Can’t Wait initiative.
Racism DOES EXIST!!!This woman put her car to BLOCK our protest then SPIT on this young BLACK MAN!!! One of the speakers at that.SHARE so her employer and friends and family can see her TRUE COLORBut BLACKS and BROWN cause "Violent Protest" this woman showed up to a VERY PEACEFUL Protest#MKEPROTEST
Posted by Caress Gonzalez Ramirez on Saturday, June 6, 2020
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