The white woman who was caught on video spitting on a Black woman Jan. 6, 2021, at the state Capitol testified that she was trying to get the Black woman to examine the issue of “Black on Black” crime when she approached her to let her know “All Lives Matter.”
Is the Black Lives Matter movement racist?
“I don’t believe it’s racist. It’s bigoted,” Yuliya Gilshteyn, the white woman being sued for civil damages, said.
Gilshteyn received accelerated rehabilitation in her criminal case and the intent behind the spitting incident which was laid out in documents in that case has been a point of contention between the attorneys in the civil case. If she completes accelerated rehabilitation the case is supposed to be erased from her record like it never happened. Arguments over whether those documents will be allowed in the civil case are still under discussion after Thursday’s five-hour hearing.
“I’m more of a minority,” Gilshteyn, a Russian Jew, said while leaning in during the encounter.
The video of the incident, which includes footage of the spit leaving Gilshteyn’s mouth, was played several times during Thursday’s hearing.
Keren Prescott and her friend Melina Floyd-Torres had megaphones and were chanting “Black Lives Matter,” outside the state Capitol on Jan. 6. Both women are black.
Gilshteyn said they were drowning out the medical freedom crowd she was with. The medical freedom movement was advocating to keep the religious exemption to childhood vaccines before the start of the 2021 legislative session.
“They took over our medical freedom protest,” Gilshteyn said.
Prescott’s attorney, Ken Krayeske, asked if Gilshteyn said “Protect me from these crazy Black Lives Matter protesters.”
“I was under a lot of stress, I was being surrounded. I felt like a hunted animal,” Gilshteyn said. “I was fearing for my safety and that of my child.”
She said the moment and what was said and what happened “don’t reflect my deeply held, personal beliefs.”
“I was under a lot of stress,” Gilshteyn repeatedly said.
Gilshteyn said Prescott wouldn’t even consider that a person with my skin color could be a minority. Gilshteyn said she didn’t identify herself as Jewish to either Prescott or Floyd-Torres, who asked her to back up when she approached them.
“All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter,” Prescott yelled back through her megaphone at the protest.
Gilshteyn was yelling “all lives matter,” at Prescott before the spitting occurred.
Prescott did not testify Thursday but will be called to testify at the next hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Floyd-Torres, who was with Prescott that day, did testify.
Kevin Smith, the attorney for Gilshteyn, asked whether it’s possible to discriminate against a white person.
“You can’t be racist to white people because white people are not the minority,” Floyd-Torres said.
“It’s your opinion as a Black woman that you can’t be racist toward a white person?” Smith asked.
“Yes,” Floyd-Torres replied.
Ivelisse Correa of Black Lives Matter 860 also testified. Correa recorded what happened after the incident occurred.
Correa said they circled around Gilshteyn and refused to let her leave until state Capitol police arrived.