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David C. Nicosia: Rosa Parks remark made to black judge followed by slap, spit

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A Chicago business owner has been charged with a hate crime after he called a 79-year-old black female judge "Rosa Parks" then slapped and spit on her. The incident has shocked many who heard the details of the story because it all started because David C. Nicosia allegedly became angry that Judge Arnette Hubbard was smoking near him.

According to a July 16 report from The Chicago Tribune, the attack took place on Monday outside the Daley Center, which is Chicago's premier civic center. Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday that Hubbard was smoking when she passed in front of Nicosia, 55, who suddenly became angry that she was smoking so close to him.

The following text is how The Chicago Tribune described the altercation: "The two argued and Nicosia, who is white, stepped near her face and said, 'Rosa Parks, move,' and spit in her face, prosecutors said. As he walked away, the Law Division judge followed him and called out for assistance. Nicosia then turned and allegedly slapped the judge on the left side of her face with an open hand, prosecutors said. He was then arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime."

Many are appalled at the fact that someone could treat not just an elderly person, but an iconic judge like this. "She is an icon in our community," said Delores Robinson, former president of the Bar Association of Cook County. She continued...“People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this. Not just because of who she is but that this happened to anybody.”

David C. Nicosia is charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime. His bond was set at $90,000.

In 1981, Judge Hubbard was the first woman lawyer elected to the presidency of the National Bar Association, the nation’s largest African American lawyer organization. Throughout her career, she has mentored women law students, women lawyers from all backgrounds throughout the country, and young students in high school and college. She frequently speaks to women audiences and shares how “mothering got her over”—and always reminds her audience that they must never lose sight of the bigger goals: to be an advocate and role model for all women.