Mark and Patricia McCloskey: How Missouri couple went from gun-toting to political lightning rods
Remember the Missouri couple – Mark and Patricia McCloskey? They are back in news again. Nine Black Lives Matter protesters who were confronted by the St. Louis couple waving an AR 15-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol, in front of their palatial house, have been issued trespassing summonses for marching onto a private property.
A quick refresher. On June 28, in a viral video, the McCloskeys could be seen threatening protesters outside their home in the city's Forest Park area. At one point, they unknowingly pointed their weapons at each other. The Daily Mail reported that Mark, who was carrying an AR-15, and Patricia, who was carrying a handgun, are both personal injury lawyers who run the McCloskey Law Center from inside their five-floor palatial home.
The protesters in St. Louis made their way to Mayor Krewson’s house through Portland Place, a privately owned and operated neighborhood. The demonstrators wanted the mayor to resign because during a Facebook Live video, she had announced the names and addresses of people who wrote to her advocating for police reform, an incident which received widespread backlash. However, the Mayor had issued an apology on Twitter, where she wrote: “I’d like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall today. This was during one of my Facebook updates as I was answering routine questions. Never did I intend to harm anyone or cause distress. The update is removed and again, I apologize.” As the demonstrators entered the neighborhood, the first house on their right was the McCloskeys’, according to Vox.
The couple was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon in connection to the incident, with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner stating that their actions created the risk of bloodshed during what was an otherwise peaceful protest. Speaking to Fox News, Mark had said, “You know, the interesting thing is that the media is reporting this as a peaceful protest, and everybody keeping playing the same 32-second clip, or a little tiny bits of a 32-second clip, of an event that went on for 12 or 15 minutes. Yeah, it was peaceful alright.” He added, "Later that same night, that same crowd out in front of Mayor (Lyda Krewson's) house, one of them produced an AK-47 and actually challenged a Channel 5 reporter. And she and her armed guard had to flee. That's how peaceful that protest was.” Police investigators are in possession of video footage showing people in the crowd outside his home "armed with guns," McCloskey said, adding he also saw the weapons and was himself accosted by one protester. "It has come out that the police were aware and have video of people in the crowd in front of my house armed with guns," he told host Sean Hannity.
Meanwhile, according to a Daily Mail report, Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has stated he will most likely pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted. Their case is still pending in court. According to Daily Mail, police spokeswoman Evita Caldwell on September 11 confirmed that nine protesters have been issued summonses but said the St. Louis City Counselor's office has not decided whether to issue charges on the citations or not.
As per NPR, city counselor Julian Bush told them that his office received the citations earlier this week. “It's now incumbent on the city counselor to decide whether or not to charge these people,” Bush said. According to him, it might take two weeks for his office to sift through the documentation provided by the police department. “We have to assess whether or not it's likely that a conviction could be obtained. If there's no probable cause or it's not in the broader interest" of the community, then the city counselor will not prosecute,” he said. According to NPR, if his office goes ahead with prosecution, the protesters could face a fine of up to $500, incarceration up to 90 days or probation. But Bush added, “It's very, very rare for anyone to receive a penalty of incarceration for a municipal ordinance violation.”
The Daily Mail report states, deputy city counselor Mike Garvin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his office wants to examine video from the protest “to see where the accused trespassers were at the time.”
On September 4, BLM activist Ohun Ashe posted on Twitter that she had received a summons from the police department. She wrote: “I was just sent a summons to appear in court for “trespassing on private property” on Portland Pl aka the street Patricia and Mark McCloskey live on. I had a gun waved in my face by them but trespassing is what matters?”
I was just sent a summons to appear in court for “trespassing on private property” on Portland Pl aka the street Patricia and Mark McCloskey live on. I had a gun waved in my face by them but trespassing is what matters?— Ohun Ashe 🌻🌼🌞 (@Ohun_Ashe) September 4, 2020
As per Daily Mirror, Rev. Darryl Gray, who led the protest, said that the citations were an attempt to intimidate peaceful protesters. Gray, who has not been issued a summons, said, “We're not going to be threatened, and that´s what´s happening across this country.”
However, the June incident had not only made the couple famous, they also spoke at the Republican National Convention (RNC). As reported by CNN, the White House has defended the pair several times and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had told reporters at the time that Trump “said it is absolutely absurd, what is happening to the McCloskeys”.
Speaking during the opening night of RNC, Patricia, as reported by Breitbart said, “What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country. And that’s what we want to speak to you about tonight.” Her husband concurred, “That’s exactly right. Whether it’s defunding the police, ending cash bail so criminals can be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, or encouraging anarchy on our streets, it seems as if Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.”
Mark went on to add, "The radicals are not content just marching in the streets. They want to walk the halls of Congress. They want to take over. They want power. This is Joe Biden’s party. These are the people who will be in charge of your future and the future of your children." While Patricia said, "When we don’t have basic safety and security in our communities, we will never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children, and for our country. That’s what’s at stake in this election. And that’s why we must re-elect Donald Trump.”