Jeramey Jannene

Thousands March While Attorney In Custody For Spitting In Protester’s Face

Giannis and other Bucks players show up at one of seven marches.

By - Jun 7th, 2020 01:45 am
Giannis Antetokounmpo, marches in Shorewood and Milwaukee, and Stephanie Rapkin spitting. Images from Frank Nitty (video still), Jeramey Jannene and Caress Gonzalez Rodriguez (video still).

Giannis Antetokounmpo, marches in Shorewood and Milwaukee, and Stephanie Rapkin spitting. Images from Frank Nitty (video still), Jeramey Jannene and Caress Gonzalez Rodriguez (video still).

Thousands of Milwaukeeans took to the streets Saturday to demand justice and police reform. They were joined by people across the world who did everything from close down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to march in Japan and New Zealand.

It’s an expression of frustration, it’s a call for justice and it’s a movement for a more equitable society.

Meanwhile in Fayetteville, North Carolina, over 100 people attended a funeral for George Floyd. It was Floyd’s killing at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer that triggered the nationwide protests.

But the fact that all four officers involved were arrested and charged won’t end the movement.

“Just because you arrested four officers doesn’t change anything, it’s the system. Because they’ll kill somebody else next week and we will have to march again,” said Frank Nitty, the de facto leader of the Milwaukee movement, at a daytime march near the Shorewood-Milwaukee border on N. Oakland Ave. “We don’t care about the officers. We want to change the system.”

The march, led by Darius Smith, drew thousands of people, the biggest one Urban Milwaukee has observed over the nine days of protests. The march went from Milwaukee’s Lower East Side to the Riverwest neighborhood into suburban Shorewood and Whitefish Bay before looping back.

Marchers took over five minutes to pass by Urban Milwaukee as we filmed from above. When Smith went to address the group, he had to ditch his bullhorn and instead climb atop a van with top-mounted speakers in the middle of the crowd.

It was one of at least seven marches that took place in the Milwaukee area Saturday.

Those in another march, coming from the Mitchell Park Domes, made their way north onto the 27th Street Viaduct when Milwaukee Bucks players Giannis Antetokounmpo, Sterling Brown, Brook Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, Frank Mason III and Thanasis Antetokounmpo appeared.

The march was in honor of Joel Acevedo who died at the hands of an off-duty Milwaukee police officer in April.

“It means a lot to the city to see you,” said Nitty to Antetokounmpo in announcing the surprise in a Facebook live video. He praised Giannis for helping change the narrative around black people in Milwaukee. Giannis said he was there in support of his city and justice.

And while Antetokounmpo will draw the national headlines as the league’s reigning most valuable player, it is Brown that unfortunately has first-hand knowledge of police brutality.

Brown has a pending lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Police Department for an incident in which he was tased, stepped on and arrested after parking illegally in a Walgreens parking lot. The parking lot Brown was arrested in is at the south end of the bridge the players greeted the marchers on.

Nitty said the players approached him through area pastors. “This isn’t just a photo [opportunity],” he said. The players handed out water and marched briefly alongside pastor Kenneth Lock II, Khalil Coleman, Rafael Mercado and Nitty.

But the day wasn’t all highlights.

Attorney In Custody for Spitting in Teens Face

While walking through Shorewood, hundreds of people, many wearing masks because of the pandemic, cheered on the mostly-masked marchers and businesses handed out food and water. But one woman parked in the street to obstruct the marchers and then spit in a teenager’s face while standing on the sidewalk.

The incident was captured on video by Caress Gonzalez Ramirez and attorney Stephanie Rapkin, 64, was led from her home in handcuffs Saturday night at around 10:00 p.m.

A photo, shared by Public Allies Milwaukee executive director Ashley Lee, showed Rapkin being walked away from her house in handcuffs by police officers.

Neither Rapkin nor the unidentified victim was wearing a mask at the time of the incident. The victim had one around his neck.

The Shorewood Police Department said she was in custody, but not yet charged. The case has been referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney.

Protesters quickly identified Rapkin, in part based on the personalized license plate of her car left in the street.

Otherwise Peaceful

The marches observed by Urban Milwaukee, with the exception of the Rapkin incident, were peaceful affairs.

One march coming east down W. Vliet St. near N. 35th St. parted to let a Milwaukee Fire Department truck through and then applauded. At another point teenagers were called out to stop setting off fireworks.

Three marches converged at N. 27th St. and W. Vliet St. around 9:00 p.m. with some people heading home and the “all night” group of several hundred forming to head east down Vliet towards Downtown. Urban Milwaukee left the group at 10:30 p.m. when it was crossing the W. Winnebago St. bridge over Interstate 43 and entering The Brewery.

A number of familiar faces and some new ones were spotted at marches Saturday, including Mayor Tom Barrett, council members Ashanti Hamilton and Russell W. Stamper, II, state representatives Kalan Haywood II, Jonathan Brostoff and David Bowen and state senator Lena Taylor.

Reggie Moore, director of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention, was also out Saturday evening, and was spotted talking to Nate Hamilton. Hamilton’s brother, Dontre Hamilton, was killed in 2014 by a Milwaukee police offer in Red Arrow Park. Filmmaker Erik Ljung captured the encounter. His film, The Blood is at the Doorstep, is free to watch for this week.

At least three marches are scheduled for Sunday in Milwaukee.



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

Protest 3 day 9✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻✊🏼

Posted by Frank Nitty II on Saturday, June 6, 2020


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More about the 2020 Racial Justice Protests

Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here

More about the Spitting Incident

Read more about Spitting Incident here


4 thoughts on “Thousands March While Attorney In Custody For Spitting In Protester’s Face”

  1. Janet Holzhauer says:

    After marching with a large crowd from Atwater Park north yesterday, I looked forward to at least a mention in my beloved Urban Milwaukee.

    Instead I found only extensive coverage of the march from North Avenue

    Oh, and an account and photo of some pathetic person spitting. While that is reprehensible, what about the marchers from Atwater?

    I expected better from UM.

  2. mkwagner says:

    A little bit of a nit, but all the photo labels said the pictures were taken January 6, 2020. I believe you meant June 6, 2020.

  3. Dave Reid says:

    @mkwagner Thanks, I’ve corrected these now (though I haven’t check if the cache has refreshed yet).

  4. Jkilmer says:

    Urban Milwaukee has been working tirelessly over the last 10 days covering the protests. With “at least 7 marches” being held on Saturday, it is understandable they could not all be covered. That would require more staff, which would require more financial support! And now in light of the tragic fire at the store and offices, it is more important than ever to become a member or support UM by buying a gift card. Thank you Urban Milwaukee

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