June 14, 2024

White woman gets probation for spitting on Black woman at protest

A Black woman who was spat on by a white woman amid a Connecticut protest says “white privilege” is the reason she didn’t receive proper justice. 

Yuliya Gilshteyn, 45, was caught on video spitting on Keren Prescott, a Black Lives Matter activist, during a protest in Connecticut outside the state Capitol on Jan. 6, the same day as the insurrection in Washington D.C., as reported by Revolt.

Prescott said she and a friend were shouting “Black lives matter” at the demonstration when Gilshteyn told her “all lives matter,” prompting an argument.

Black woman Keren Prescott thegrio.com
Gilshteyn spitting on Prescott as they stand near each other at a BLM rally (Credit: screenshot)

Prescott, who was wearing a face mask, asked Gilshteyn to keep her distance because she wasn’t wearing one and that’s when Gilshteyn spat in her face. 

Gilshteyn was initially charged with breach of peace charge, but the charges were later upgraded to include deprivation of rights, third-degree criminal attempt to commit assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, and risk of injury to a child, per Revolt.  

During a court hearing on July 21, Hartford Superior Court Judge Sheila Prats ruled that Gilshteyn’s punishment will simply be to complete a probation program for first-time offenders.

Prescott called the ruling “the epitome of white privilege.”

“When she attacked me and the police didn’t believe me, that was white privilege,” she told The Hartford Courant. “When the police held me back and she was led away, that was white privilege. …The fact she was in here today and didn’t even get a slap on the wrist, that is white privilege.”

Judge Prats pushed back against Prescott’s claims, explaining that she decided to grant Gilshteyn probation only because the crime of spitting in a Black woman’s face is not that serious. 

Gilshteyn apologized to Prescott during the hearing and said her attack was “completely out of character.”

Per the terms of her probation, Gilshteyn has been given a two-year time period to complete 100 hours of anti-hate courses. Once she completes the curriculum, all charges will be dropped against her, according to the report.

Prescott and Gilshteyn sparred during an event where activists groups rallied for various causes. The ruling in Gilshteyn’s case comes weeks after new research shows that some Black Lives Matter protesters were not marching for Black lives, theGRIO reported. 

The Washington Post released research findings in an article published on Friday showing some protesters were demonstrating for other reasons.

As reported, they conducted two national surveys. In the first survey, they interviewed 1,028 people from June 25 through June 28, 2020 and in the second survey, they interviewed 999 people from July 18 through July 23, 2020.

When asked why they protested, most respondents said, “because of their concerns about racial injustice or police brutality,” which researchers classified as having BLM-related motivations, the Post reported. While the majority of people responded in this way, a reported 19% shared answers that were not connected to BLM.

The Washington Post reported the following from their findings:

“Their attendance was motivated by concerns like “justice for all,” “equal rights for all” or “all lives matter.” Some also mentioned a general discontent with the federal government or a desire to “protest against the government.”

The article went on to report that Republicans and/or white people were most likely to attend a protest without motives connected to BLM.

This story contains additional reporting from Hannah Joy.

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