Stephanie Rapkin is a white woman who is facing charges of battery and disorderly conduct after multiple videos surfaced of the 64-year-old attorney spitting on a black teenage boy during a protest in Shorewood, Wisconsin, on Saturday afternoon, according to WISN.
The incident has been circulating on social media.
Rapkin was arrested again on Sunday after a confrontation with protesters outside her home and police are now seeking additional charges of battery, disorderly conduct, battery to a law enforcement officer and resisting/obstructing an officer. According to Shorewood Police, Rapkin was caught on video pushing a protester and then “kneed a police officer in the groin when they tried to arrest her,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Rapkin Parked Her Car in the Street in an Attempt to Stop the Protests
According to TMJ4 News Milwaukee, the Shorewood Police Department received a report that a woman spat on a victim during a confrontation at about 5 p.m. on Saturday on Oakland Avenue.
Urban Milwaukee states that prior to the confrontation, Rapkin parked her car in the middle of North Oakland Avenue in an attempt to “obstruct the marches.”
In the video above, which shows the moments leading up to the incident, Rapkin is seen arguing with another woman. When a young male protestor who was walking in Rapkin’s direction approaches her, cupping his hands around his mouth to yell something, she spits on his face.
In the seconds after the confrontation, Rapkin holds her purse tightly to her chest and yells, “Don’t touch me.”
Neither Rapkin nor the victim, who is unidentified at this time, was wearing a mask during the confrontation, though the victim had one around his neck.
On Twitter, Wisconsin State Representative David Bowen, who attended the Shorewood march, called for Rapkin to lose her license.
Rapkin Clashed With Protesters Outside Her Home Sunday
Following the spitting incident on Saturday, protesters chalked messages on the sidewalk outside Rapkin’s home on Sunday, including “Hate has no home here” and “I spit on a child.” Rapkin confronted those gathered and was caught on video pushing a man, saying she was “explaining” what had happened the previous day. A bystander can be heard in the video saying, “Call the police.”
According to a press release from the Sherwood Police Department, “the victim reported the suspect then slapped both of her hands on the victim’s chest and physically pushed him.” Rapkin then went back into her house, police said, where they were able to make contact with her “after numerous unsuccessful attempts.” After informing her that she was under arrest, “the suspect became physically resistive with officer’s attempts to place her in handcuffs … [and] also struck one of the arresting officers by kneeing him in the groin.”
Although the Milwaukee County Jail would not take Rapkin on Saturday following the first incident with protesters due to COVID-19 restrictions, police said, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office opted to detain Rapkin at the jail following Sunday’s arrest.
Rapkin Is a Real Estate Attorney in Wisconsin
Rapkin was licensed to practice law in Wisconsin in 1982 and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in taxation. The “About Me” section on her website reads, “She has written a number of law journal articles and specialty articles for electronic legal journals. She has taught both continuing legal education courses in estate planning and tax for practicing attorneys and university courses in probate law and business law.”
Justia Lawyers reveals that Rapkin attended DePaul College of Law and graduated in 1992.
Rapkin’s LinkedIn profile, which has become unavailable since the incidents caught on video, stated that she is the author of the book Estate Freezes: Tools and Techniques. She has also written for legal journals including The Journal of Taxation, Trust & Estates, Estate Planning and Taxes: The Tax Magazine.
As a guest lecturer, Rapkin has taught at Marquette’s law school. She was an adjunct at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In a statement, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee told Heavy, “Stephanie Rapkin taught part-time at UWM in the mid-1990s, but she has not been affiliated with the university for more than two decades. The university is dismayed by her recent actions, which are contrary to everything UWM stands for. Respect for diversity and free speech are among UWM’s core values.”
Saturday marked the ninth day of protests in Milwaukee, which have been described by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as, overall, “peaceful.”
The mayor of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, said on Friday that he “welcomes” the protests that have taken place in the city. The outlet reported Mayor Dennis McBride as saying, “We welcome those protests as a legitimate expression of the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. … We have heard the calls for meaningful change.”
Heavy has reached out to the Shorewood Police Department for comment.
This piece will be updated with more information as it becomes available.