St. Louis couple indicted for waving guns at protesters – Boston Herald
By Jim Salter
ST. LOUIS (AP) – A grand jury on Tuesday indicted the St. Louis couple who showed guns while hundreds of protesters marched on their private street alleging racial injustice.
Al Watkins, an attorney for the couple, confirmed the charges against Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, to The Associated Press. A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner declined to comment.
The McCloskeys, who are both lawyers, have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They argue that they were only exercising their second amendment-taking gun rights and were protected by Missouri’s lock doctrine law, which allows the use of lethal force against intruders. The case has caught the attention of President Donald Trump and Republican Governor of Missouri Mike Parson, stating that he will apologize to the couple if they are convicted.
The McCloskeys were also featured as speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention. You have blamed the “left” Democratic leadership in St. Louis for their plight.
The Democrat Gardner accused the couple of illegally using a weapon. She said reporting guns risked bloodshed in what she called an otherwise peaceful protest.
Watkins said the grand jury’s indictment includes manipulation of the evidence charge in addition to the gun violence charge. It is not clear what led to this additional count, he said.
The McCloskeys claim the protest was hardly peaceful. They say protesters came onto the private road after knocking over an iron gate and ignoring a sign that read “No Trespassing” and said they felt threatened.
Watkins said allegations against the McCloskeys “effectively demonstrate the highest level of incompetence and inappropriate behavior” by Gardner’s office.
The incident occurred on June 28, when protesters approached Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home a few blocks away. They suddenly decided to go onto McCloskeys Street, which led to the confrontation captured on the cell phone video. It showed Mark McCloskey outside the $ 1.15 million house armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey with a semi-automatic pistol.
A police statement on the likely cause said protesters feared they would be “injured because Patricia McCloskey’s finger was on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor”.
Nine people involved in the protest were charged with offenses, but the city council office later dropped the charges. The city council office deals with fewer crime and is not affiliated with the district attorney’s office.
Mark McCloskey expressed his anger after a brief trial earlier Tuesday that he and his wife faced criminal charges while those who entered his property did not.
“Every single person in front of my house was a criminal intruder,” said McCloskey. “They tore down our gate. They entered our property. None of these people are charged with anything now. We are being charged with crimes that could cost us four years of our lives and our legal licenses. “
The June protest in St. Louis was among hundreds nationwide following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.