This story is developing.
Per The Hill – Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple that drew national attention earlier this month after footage of them pointing guns at protesters outside their home went viral, have been charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, The Associated Press reported.
Fox News reports St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said Monday she’s charging the couple who flashed guns at a crowd marching to the mayor’s office last month with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
Gardner, the city’s top prosecutor, told The Associated Press that Mark and Patricia McCloskey also faced a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault over the June 28 incident. “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis,” Gardner said.
However, the McCloskeys have said many times they were defending themselves, with tensions high in St. Louis and other cities over race and law enforcement. They said that the crowd of demonstrators broke an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, and that some violently threatened them.
Per Politico, Trump spoke by phone with Parson last week to criticize Gardner’s investigation. Parson, when he was in the Legislature, co-authored Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law that justifies deadly force for those who are defending their homes from intruders. He has said that the McCloskeys “had every right to protect their property.”
Gardner declined to discuss why she decided the castle doctrine didn’t apply.
The McCloskeys’ attorney, Albert Watkins, said they are longtime civil rights advocates and support the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. He said they grabbed their guns when two or three white protesters violently threatened the couple, their property and that of their neighbors.
Gardner, St. Louis’ first Black circuit attorney, has been at odds with some in the St. Louis establishment since her election in 2016. Most notably, her office charged then-Gov. Eric Greitens with felony invasion of privacy in 2018 for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman during an extramarital affair. The charge was eventually dropped, but Greitens resigned in June 2018.