The white couple from a lavish St. Louis neighborhood that went viral last month for wielding their guns at Black Lives Matters Protesters is facing felony charges.
What We Know:
- On Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s Office filed felony charges against a couple who pointed guns at protesters walking by their Central West End mansion last month. Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, have each been charged with a felony count of unlawful use of a weapon.
- “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest,” said Kimberly Gardner, St. Louis circuit attorney in a statement. “We are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force. This type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.”
- Garner said her office would be open to ending the case if the McCloskey’s successfully complete community service hours.
“We must protect the right to peacefully protest and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated,” says Gardner.
- The McCloskeys, who are personal injury lawyers, went viral last month when the couple was caught on video pointing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters from the front lawn of their up-scale mansion. The video shows the barefoot couple standing on their front lawn yelling at the protesters – the man holding a semi-automatic rifle and the woman flashing a silver handgun. The protesters were marching towards St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson’s house, when the McCloskey’s came out with weapons pointed claiming the protestors were trespassing, though the video shows no signs of that.
- “The only thing that stopped the crowd was my rifle,” Mr. McCloskey said last month in an interview.
- Politicians from Missouri and other states, including President Donald Trump, have spoken up against the case. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, asked that a federal investigation be launched in the case and has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr accusing Gardner of abusing her power.
This morning I have asked the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation into the St Louis Circuit Attorneys Office. Targeting law abiding citizens who exercise constitutionally protected rights for investigation & prosecution is an abuse of power https://t.co/lg9GbisWgd
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 16, 2020
- Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a request to have the case against the McCloskey’s dismissed.
Citizens shouldn’t be targeted for exercising their #2A right to self-defense
STL prosecutor Kim Gardner is engaged in a political prosecution
As AG I’m entering the case seeking a dismissal & defend all Missourians’ right to protect their lives/property pic.twitter.com/kQLXOAhFIz
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) July 20, 2020
Mark and Patricia McCloskey were each charged with a felony count of unlawful exhibiting of a weapon and are scheduled to appear in court on August 31st.