The chief prosecutor of the city of St. Louis is evaluating the charge against a pair of Missouri lawyers after they were seen wielding guns against the demonstrators outside their $ 1.15 million home.
Mark McCloskey, 63 years old, and his wife Patricia McCloskey, 61 years old, were seen in several videos and photos on Sunday evening claiming an AR-15 rifle and a gun while protesters marched.
The couple said they “feared for our lives” after the demonstrators tore down the gate of their private community and threatened them.
The two were the only ones to present an official police report on the clash citing “damage threats” and police said Monday that they would not be charged.
However, St. Louis circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner announced on Monday that he was working with police and prosecutors to investigate lawyers for possible threats against the crowd.
Scroll down for the video
St. Louis Circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner said she was “alarmed” that “peaceful demonstrators were met by guns” and that she is investigating the McCloskey couple despite police claiming they were the only ones to report. and there would be no charges against them
The owners of armed houses, Patty and Mark McCloskey, stand in front of their house along Portland Place and confront the protesters who march to the home of the Mayor of St. Louis Lyda Krewson on Sunday
Patricia McCloskey drew a firearm against protesters as she walked past her home on Sunday
“I am alarmed by the events that occurred over the weekend, in which peaceful protesters were greeted by guns and a violent assault,” Gardner said in a video statement Monday evening.
“We must protect the right to protest peacefully and any attempt to cool it down through intimidation or threats of deadly force will not be tolerated,” he insisted.
‘Ever since I learned about these events over the weekend, I have worked with the public and the police to investigate these tragic events.
“Make no mistake, the prosecutor’s office will not tolerate the use of force against those who exercise their first amendment rights and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable,” Gardner warned.
While the couple had support for their actions, they also encountered kickbacks.
The two are both personal injury lawyers and manage the McCloskey Law Center inside their extravagant home. The company’s website was taken offline on Monday afternoon due to the large influx of emails and the couple said they had been forced to board their office.
According to St. Louis Today, even a Democrat running for a seat in the state Senate declined to receive a donation from them and instead donated it to the group of the arms security campaign Moms Demand Action.
A couple lawyer insisted that “they acted legally on their property”.
Albert Watkins said on Monday that the couple had long been a supporter of civil rights and supported the message from the Black Lives Matter movement.
He said they took their guns when two or three protesters – who were white – violently threatened the couple, their property and that of their neighbors.
‘Their actions were borne exclusively by fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not tied to race. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white, “Watkins said in a statement.
Peaceful protesters were not object of contempt or scorn by the McCloskeys.
‘On the contrary, they expected and supported the message from the protesters.
Gardner also released this statement on the investigation Monday evening
“The most important thing for them is that their images (holding guns) do not become the basis for a battle cry for people who oppose the Black Lives Matter message,” he added.
“They want to make it clear that they believe the Black Lives Matter message is important.”
The McCloskeys video went viral on Sunday evening after guns were seen pointing at protesters who walked near their sumptuous estate in the affluent Forest Park area around 18:00 on Sunday.
Protesters were traveling to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson to ask for his resignation after releasing the names and addresses of residents who had suggested defrauding the police department.
The video of the couple’s stalemate has been viewed more than 13 million times since Tuesday with some supporting the couple’s right to protect their private property and others claiming that they have broken the law by threatening a peaceful protest.
At one point, the couple seemed to unknowingly point their weapons at each other while trying to keep the protesters away from their home – nicknamed the Niemann Mansion.
In the video, protesters sang “Let’s Go” while the couple stood at the front door, patrolling back and forth.
Mark McCloskey could be seen carrying a weapon as protesters entered his neighborhood
About 300 protesters had passed through a gate to enter this closed community and were marching in front of McCloskey’s house, which is the center in the photo. The family said they were having dinner outside when the protesters arrived
The driveway entrance to Portland Place, where protesters allegedly knocked down a gate on Sunday
A video posted on Twitter of the demonstration shows the woman holding the gun against a protester wearing a shirt that reads “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
It seemed that the individual was trying to convince people to leave home at the time.
Patricia McCloskey is seen approaching the protesters as they talk to them while some support and discuss.
Other protesters are heard shouting ‘Go’ at all as the woman continues to shake the gun from the front lawn and Mark McCloskey watched from the front door with his rifle.
Police said Monday that people in the crowd shouted threats to the couple and that the McCloskeys would not be accused.
They added that they are still investigating, but have labeled it a case of transgression and assault by intimidation of the couple by demonstrators in the racially diverse crowd.
St. Louis police confirmed that they were called to Portland Place around 7:20 pm on Sunday evening in an incident that resulted in violations and assaults on the fourth intimidation after the McCloskeys launched a “call for help”.
‘The victims said they were on their property when they heard a loud bustle coming from the street. When the victims went to investigate the confusion, they observed a large group of individuals forcefully breaking an iron gate marked “No Trespassing” and “Private Street”, “said police.
‘Once they crossed the gate, the victims warned the group that they were on a private road and transgressed and told them to leave. The group began screaming obscenity and threats of harm to both victims.
Husband and wife, Mark and Patricia McCloskey are both personal injury lawyers
‘When the victims observed multiple armed subjects, they armed themselves and contacted the police. The investigation is ongoing. ”
In Monday’s interviews, Mark McCloskey compared the protesters to the Bastille assault and called them “Marxists” and “terrorists” who were part of a revolution that didn’t really care about Black Lives Matter.
He noted that he had previously represented a black man who was subjected to police violence.
He also said that the only one who pulled out his gun from his home when protesters broke through a gate on their private property, sharing images of the destroyed door.
“A crowd of at least 100 people broke through the historic wrought iron doors of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed to my house where my family was dining out and scared us of our lives,” he said.
‘This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public roads. We were told that we were going to be killed, that our house was going to be burnt down and that our dog was going to be killed. We were all alone in front of an angry crowd. “
His claims appear to be at odds with a video streamed by a protester showing them to walk through the open and intact gate and to be immediately met with an armed Mark McCloskey.
According to the NRA, state law does not prohibit the open carriage of firearms, but prohibits showing “any weapon readily capable of lethal use” in an angry or threatening manner in the presence of one or more people.
Exhibiting a weapon in this way would probably be a class D offense punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of no more than $ 5,000.
According to the American St. Louis, however, the “castle doctrine” allows people to use deadly force to attack an intruder on their property.