St. Louis 'Ken and Karen' couple who pointed guns at protesters say they got scared after 'mob' tore down their gate
'It was like storming of the Bastille,' said Mark McCloskey, whose attorney also said that the couple pointed guns at two white men
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: The lawyer for a couple who were filmed brandishing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters has defended their actions and said they armed themselves because they had been threatened by "multiple" people carrying firearms.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported how Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, were seen threatening protesters outside their five-floor palatial home in St. Louis' Forest Park Area around 6 pm on Sunday, June 28.
Mark, who was carrying an AR-15, could be heard yelling "Private property! Private property, get out!" at some of the protesters while menacingly holding his weapon, with his wife carrying a handgun and standing alongside him. The video of the incident has been viewed millions of times on social media and sparked a backlash against the couple, but Albert Watkins, their lawyer, insisted that they did not take out their weapons until two men, both white, tried to intimidate them.
"At the time, their fear was, these people, two in particular, that were marching along with the Black Lives Matter protest participants — all peaceful," he told Fox News. "They were acting in a fashion inconsistent with the message being given. My clients were not arming themselves against peaceful protesters, they were arming themselves about people with a really bad motive, a motive that runs afoul of the fundamental tenets of our country."
He said the other protesters began yelling at them when they brandished their weapons without realizing they had taken it out to protect themselves. "My clients, though, had to deal with comments that were from two individuals that were perpetrating these acts of violence and, not charging, but coming toward them and doing so in a fashion that was threatening, menacing, and in a fashion inconsistent with the Black Lives Matter message," he said.
In an interview with KMOV4, Mark claimed he and his wife pulled out their guns because the protesters had invaded private property and they were "in fear for our lives" after receiving death threats. "It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate came down and a large crowd of angry, aggressive people poured through," he said. "I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed." "A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives," he added.
However, social media footage from the street shows protesters opening and walking through an unbroken gate. It is unclear when it was damaged and who damaged it.
Watkins said, despite the portrayal of his clients in the media, they were in complete support of the Black Lives Matter movement and that they viewed it as necessary. "The Black Lives Matters movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time," he shared. "The McCloskeys want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest."