Mark and Patricia McCloskey became famous on Twitter after photos of them pointing guns at peaceful protestors in front of their St. Louis mansion started circulating. According to Buzzfeed, they have been charged with one count each of unlawful use of a weapon, which is a felony. The charge is for allegedly brandishing their weapons to show they were “readily capable of lethal use, in an angry or threatening manner.”
The McCloskey’s are themselves lawyers, who have made it something of a business to launch lawsuit after lawsuit against other people, usually over property disputes. In the photos, Patricia McCloskey holds a handgun and her husband an assault rifle. They appear to be barefoot and yelling at the crowd, who were not approaching their home.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
The couple were interviewed on KSDK, and claim they felt threatened by the protesters.
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened,” he said. “I really thought it was storming the Bastille, that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it.”
In videos of the scene, protestors are passing by the house, leaving it undisturbed, only asking for the McCloskeys to put their guns away. The group was heading to the house of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, demanding her resignation for releasing the names and addresses of citizens calling for the defunding of police.
The charges against the McCloskeys were served by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, who said, “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.”
1/ Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner – Today my office filed charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey following an incident involving peaceful, unarmed protesters on June 28th. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/zPucQ3MHs5
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) July 20, 2020
The case will likely be a highly covered one, partly due to the president’s support of the McCloskey’s on Twitter and in conversation with Missouri Governor Parson, who told reporters that Trump is invested in the case. During a phone call, Parson says Trump told him he “understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens.”
Gov. Parsons has also said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted.
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