Mark and Patricia McCloskey: Missouri couple who aimed guns at BLM protesters sue photographer for 'humiliation'

Mark and Patricia McCloskey: Missouri couple who aimed guns at BLM protesters sue photographer for 'humiliation'
Patricia and Mark McCloskey (Getty Images)

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI: A couple in their 60s who pointed their guns at Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in June are now suing a photographer who took their pictures. Mark and Patricia McCloskey have claimed that due to the picture they have faced “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress”. They have also accused the United Press International (UPI) photographer, Bill Greenblatt, of trespassing to take the snap of the confrontation that took place on June 28, The Daily Mail reported. Because of the June incident, the McCloskeys are facing felony charges for pointing weapons at demonstrators near their palatial house.

The couple filed the suit on Friday, November 6, in St. Louis Circuit Court. They have also named the wire service in it for defaming them after the late June incident when a few hundred protestors marched onto the private street near the McCloskeys' $1.15 million home in St. Louis' posh Central West End area. The man reportedly came outside his home holding an AR-15 rifle while his wife was seen carrying a semiautomatic handgun. But no one was hurt that day and the two, who are lawyers by profession, have pleaded not guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.

In their lawsuit, Mark and Patricia McCloskey have argued that because of Greenblatt’s snap, they have suffered “significant national recognition and infamy”. Along with Greenblatt and wire service, Redbubble Inc., a San Francisco-based online marketplace for print-on-demand products, has also been sued by the couple. The duo, who run the McCloskey Law Center from inside their home, said that the UPI, the photographer, and Redbubble, all of them are gaining a lot from “t-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs´ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs´ consent.”

The lawsuit added that Redbubble’s merchandise usually has their pictures accompanied with “mocking and pejorative taglines or captions,” resulting in “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress” for them. On the other hand, reports stated that UPI is thinking of sending a “cease and desist” order to the McCloskeys as they reportedly used the UPI snap as part of a personal greeting card.

This comes after last month the pair were indicted on firearm and tampering charges. They face two counts of exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence. At the time, Mark blamed the “leftist, Democrat government of the city of St. Louis" for the charges, claiming that they were “doing no more than exercising our Second Amendment rights.” He added, “We didn't fire a shot. People were violently protesting in front of our house and screaming death threats and threats of rape and threats of arson. Nobody gets charged but we get charged. The government chooses to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our right to defend ourselves, our home, our property and our family and now we're getting [dragged] here time after time after time and for what?”

McCloskeys’ lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said then that the charges were “baseless." "I am not surprised that the grand jury indicted them but I'll certainly be interested in what was presented to the grand jury," Schwartz added.

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