A Milwaukee lawyer has chosen to go to jail over probation after reportedly spitting on a Black high school student in 2020.
Today (May 23), The Associated Press reported Stephanie Rapkin, 67, was taken out of a Wisconsin courtroom in handcuffs. In April, the Shorewood attorney was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct concerning the incident.
The outlet noted that in June 2020, Rapkin appeared at an anti-racism protest in the Milwaukee area. Per AP, she parked her vehicle in the street, blocking the demonstration, which was taking place in light of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer. Protesters approached Rapkin and urged her to move her car.
When Rapkin came in contact with Eric Lucas, who helped organize and led the march, she reportedly spat on him. The 67-year-old woman initially faced the charge as a hate crime, but a judge later dismissed the enhancement. Milwaukee County Judge Laura Crivello offered Rapkin clemency during her Tuesday court appearance. Rather than serve a 60-day jail sentence, Rapkin would be on probation for a year and complete 100 hours of community service.
However, the Shorewood lawyer opted not to take the offer. “It’s not viable,” she said. “I’d rather go to jail right now and take care of it.” Later, Rapkin’s attorney, Anthony Cotton, clarified her comments with reporters. He revealed that since her conviction, Rapkin’s life has been completely altered. Cotton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel her neighbors wouldn’t socialize with her, she has received death threats, and was labeled a racist.
Rapkin also faces an assault charge on an officer. A day after the protest incident, an officer went to her home to arrest her. According to the criminal complaint, Rapkin is accused of kneeing the cop in the groin. A jury trial regarding the separate charge has been scheduled for August 2023.
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