The couple said they were afraid for their lives when they pointed guns at protesters outside their home in St. Louis.
A video has gone viral showing Mark McCloskey, 63, holding a rifle and his wife Patricia McCloskey, 61, pointing a handgun at the crowd of about 300 protesters outside of their Central West End home in St. Louis. The lawyer couple said they were “in fear for our lives” and that’s why they pulled the guns out, according to KMOV. “It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate came down and a large crowd of angry, aggressive people poured through,” Mark McCloskey said. “I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed.”
These people have no place owning these weapons and I think even most of the pro gun people would agree. No gun safety at all!!— Jackie (@Jackie_4change) June 29, 2020
A couple has come out of their house and is pointing guns at protesters in their neighborhood #StLouis #lydakrewson pic.twitter.com/xNXGPi0ARB
"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 told the station while claiming to have received death threats from protesters. “One fellow standing right in front of me pulled out two pistol magazines, clicked them together and said you’re next. That was the first death threat we got that night,” Mark said. He also shared photos of a gate to the community that had been broken. It is unclear when it was actually damaged or who destroyed it. Videos show protesters opening and walking through the unbroken gate.
A BLM sign in their front yard would have kept them safer than the guns.— Brad Alan (@Brad_Alan_) June 29, 2020
The protesters were marching down Portland Place to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house and calling for her resignation. She recently read aloud the names and addresses of activists on a live stream. She later apologized. A spokesperson for the mayor said she will not resign. As for the McCloskeys, their attorney said that they “are lawyers whose professional careers have [sic] punctuated by their long-standing commitment to protecting the civil rights of clients victimized at the hands of law enforcement. This commitment of time and resources to this cause continues today in the Isaiah Forman case.” According to the statement for the attorney, it said that the McCloskeys support the Black Lives Matter movement and that “peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys. To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters,” the statement reads. "Both Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey acted lawfully on their property which sits on a private gated lane in the City of St. Louis. Their actions were borne solely of fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white."
EXACTLY!!!!!— Melissa Billisi (@MelissaBillisi) June 30, 2020
Rasheen Aldridge, who had reportedly been one of the leaders of the protest, organized by a group called ‘Expect Us’ said protesters were peaceful and no threats were ever made. For those who argued as to why protesters were on private property, Aldridge said, “Just like in many disobedient protests, even in the 60s, you break laws, make people feel uncomfortable. We’re not doing anything where we’re hurting anyone or putting anyone in danger.” St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said her office is looking into the incident. Protesters should not be met with violence, she argued. In a tweet she noted: I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.
Imagine if they were Black. That's how you can easily identify white privilege - when you know that a Black couple couldn't do this and live through it.— REDACTED Human Scum/hand washer (@mrshellwinger) June 29, 2020
While many online users praised the couple for "protecting their property" others saw it as an aggressive approach. VicDaring joked: A march passed near my house a few weeks ago. I set out a cooler of water bottles. I guess waving a gun around was an option. I never really fully explored it I guess.InterWebDenizen tweeted: It's an overreaction but that's what you get when they're listening to Tucker Carlson tell them protesters are coming for their house. Luckyslevin666 said: Strange how leftist’s want police to arrest people legally protecting their property. But on the other hand want to defund the police. Which is it? You can not have it both ways. To which Feb2nd1979 replied: Strange how righty's want to shoot people walking on a public sidewalk exercising their first amendment rights and then say you are the party of law and order. You can't have it both ways.
We'll just leave this quote from Kathleen Patel's The Bullying Epidemic-the guide to arm you for the fight ―“With ignorance comes fear ― from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.”
This is what happens when you storm private property. Welcome to America.— Tyler Thompson (@TheOnlyThompson) June 29, 2020