A Shorewood attorney, who has been charged with spitting on a teen and shoved another protester in early June, wants to meet with them and apologize.
Stephanie Rapkin, 64, made her initial court appearance on June 18. She was seen on a viral video spitting on teen Eric Lucas during a Black Lives Matter Protest on June 6. Rapkin was detained and released, but then again arrested the following day after police said she became upset with protesters outside of her home and pushed one of them. When officers attempted to arrest her for the second time, Rapkin became physically resistant and kneed an officer in the groin.
She faces two charges stemming from the incident: disorderly conduct with a hate crime enhancer and battery to a law enforcement officer.
During her initial appearance in court, Rapkin's attorney said he planned to file a brief in hopes of striking the hate crime enhancer on the disorderly conduct charge. Rapkin also requested a meeting with the two other individuals in the incident to apologize.
Matthew Pinix, who represents Eric Lucas, released a statement following the hearing:
"I am happy to hear that Ms. Rapkin would like to apologize, but I'd tell Ms. Rapkin what I tell my children: 'saying you're sorry is the first step. Learning to change so that you don't do it again, comes next," said Pinix. "I think the latter bit may be the harder part for Ms. Rapkin. Actions speak louder than words. Eric continues to focus on his positive message for social change and on sharing that message with the community. Perhaps Ms. Rapkin could learn something from him: hate is not the answer."
Michael Maistelman, the attorney for the protester who was shoved, said "We hope this incident can be a learning experience for the public about the need to address the systemic racial injustices that plague our country. If sitting down with Attorney Rapkin will further this goal, we would be willing to do so. However, we are reluctant to do so if this is just a publicity stunt on her behalf."
When police questioned Rapkin about the spitting incident, she stated that she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because crowds were surrounding her and they did not have masks on.
If convicted, Rapkin faces a maximum sentence of more than eight years in prison.