SHOREWOOD, Wis. — A local attorney ends up on the other side of the law charged with a hate crime.
Cellphone video captured the moment that attorney Stephanie Rapkin spit on 17-year-old Eric Lucas.
It happened during a peaceful protest that Lucas organized last Saturday.
Prosecutors charged Rapkin with disorderly conduct and added a hate crime enhancer.
"Every time I think about that moment it takes me down a traumatic experience," said Lucas.
Lucas and his attorney, Matthew Pinix, are pleased with the hate crime modifier, but say the disorderly conduct charge is not tough enough.
"A white woman can spit in a black man’s face because he’s black and the only thing that the DA's office can charge them with is a disorderly conduct, which is a crime that you can get for just shouting too loud in a public place. That seems inequitable," said Pinix.
In a criminal complaint, Lucas told investigators he a group of people at the rally were yelling at Rapkin to move her car. Lucas said he was chanting "I'm black and I'm proud" with his friends several feet away from Rapkin when she spit on him.
Lucas said Rapkin's saliva hit his face and mouth area as well as his shirt.
Cell phone video showed no one touched or threatened Rapkin before that.
Police say Rapkin later told them she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because she was surrounded by people without masks.
It is also noted in the complaint that the video showed Rapkin was not wearing a mask either.
We reached out to Rapkin to get her side of things. She declined to comment and has yet to obtain an attorney.
For Lucas, he hopes that the rally's message is not lost.
"I’m not just a color and my skin is not a weapon I don’t think black lives should just matter I think they should also be equal," said Lucas.
Rapkin is also charged with battery to a law enforcement officer in connection to a separate incident that happened outside her home the day after the protest.
That charge carries a penalty of up to six years in prison if convicted.
Rapkin is expected to make her initial court appearance on July 24th.