St. Louis couple charged for waving guns
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis’ top prosecutor on Monday charged a husband and wife with felony unlawful use of a weapon for displaying guns during a racial injustice protest outside their mansion.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are white, are both personal injury attorneys in their 60s. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner told The Associated Press that their actions risked creating a violent situation during an otherwise nonviolent protest last month.
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis,” Gardner said.
An attorney for the couple, Joel Schwartz, in a statement called the decision to charge “disheartening as I unequivocally believe no crime was committed.”
Supporters of the McCloskeys said they were legally defending their $1.15 million home.
Several Republican leaders have condemned Gardner’s investigation, including President Donald Trump, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Sen. Josh Hawley, who has urged Attorney General William Barr to undertake a civil rights investigation of Gardner.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement Monday that he filed a brief requesting that the charges be dismissed.
“The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in our constitution and our laws, including the Castle Doctrine,” Schmitt said. “This provides broad rights to Missourians who are protecting their property and lives from those who wish to do them harm.”
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, standing in front of their house, confront protesters on June 28.