“She won’t move her car!” one protester repeatedly screamed while following Rapkin toward the store, filming the encounter.
Eric Lucas, a 17-year-old black high school student who helped organize the demonstration, was among the protesters who closed in on Rapkin, joining them in chanting at her as she apparently continued refusing their demands to move her car.
Just as he approached her, Rapkin spit on him, video shows.
On Monday, at a news conference organized by the Shorewood School District, Lucas said he and his family “harbor no hate” toward Rapkin but do want to see justice in court. He said he’s been left feeling “unloved by individuals I’ve done no harm to.”
“I continue to be mentally and physically shaken to be assaulted by an adult in my own community during a pandemic — it was traumatic,” Lucas said. “Again and again I am viewed not as a child but as a color.”
Rapkin has been arrested on charges of battery and disorderly conduct — and faces a professional misconduct complaint as a lawyer — over the spitting incident as well as her behavior in the aftermath. On Monday, calling the incident an “appalling display of racial hatred,” Shorewood School District Superintendent Bryan Davis said he has asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office to file a hate-crime enhancement as well.
“This was not only disorderly behavior,” Davis said. “This was racial hatred aimed at disrupting a peaceful demonstration, and it cannot be tolerated.”
Rapkin could not immediately be reached for comment late Monday night.
Rapkin was arrested on Saturday for the spitting incident — and then again on Sunday, in an incident outside her home.
In chalk on the sidewalk, a group of protesters wrote messages such as, “I spit on a child! How dare you!” Rapkin emerged to confront them.
“I spit on a man who attacked me,” she said in response, according to video footage of the encounter.
“He did not attack you — how did he attack you?” asked 21-year-old Joe Friedman, an Ithaca College student.
Rapkin then walked up to Friedman and shoved him, insisting she was only “explaining how it happened.”
Shorewood police came to her residence to arrest her a second time, but she would not cooperate with officers, police said. She kneed one in the groin as they tried to arrest her, police said, leading to additional charges of battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
The State Bar of Wisconsin said on Twitter “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.”
“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,” leaders of the state bar wrote.